Qantas starts direct Sydney-Osaka flights in December

Andrew Munro 27 July 2017 NEWS

shutterstock osaka himeji castle night cherry blosson 738x410

Three direct flights per week, where they're needed most.

In July Qantas announces a new series of seasonal direct flights from Sydney to Osaka, Japan. They'll be running three times per week, starting on 14 December 2017, utilising Qantas' upgraded two class A330 aircraft. But in the face of hot demand, Qantas announced on 14 September 2017 that the flights will be running all year around, instead of cutting off at the originally-planned date of 24 March.

This flight commences right in the middle of the Japanese snow season (December to March) providing Australians with another flight option to hit powder-soft snow in the Japanese Alps. From Osaka, connections can be made to Sapporo which is the gateway by popular snowfields such as Niseko.

Dates also toe the line for the the start of Japan's world famous cherry blossom season, which generally begins in late March and flourishes in April and May. The originally-planned seasonal travel dates cut off right before the start of cherry blossom season, so the extension is good news for anyone who wants to sakura in Osaka.

The newly minted flights will be departing throughout the week, on a changing schedule.

  • QF33 (SYD-KIX) - Departs Sydney at 9.30am Thursdays and Saturdays, and 1.25pm on Mondays, for same day arrivals.
  • QF34 (KIX-SYD) - Departs Osaka at 6.55pm on Thursdays and Saturdays, and 10.50pm on Mondays, for next morning arrivals.

From 26 March 2018, the Thursday flights will be changed to Wednesday.

Why is Qantas extending the route before it even launches?

It might just be overwhelming demand. Japan is already one of Australia's favourite destinations, mostly because it's simply a really good destination.

More practically, it's a whole hemisphere away, but shares a similar longitude as Australia, meaning it's one of the nearest destinations for Australians who wants to reverse the seasons, escaping to summer in winter and vice versa. It's also in a very similar timezone, so there's little need to fight jetlag.

"Our commitment to the Japanese market is reflective of the strength of this growth," says Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans. "And with a number of exciting events being hosted in Japan in coming years, including the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are expecting to see travel between the two countries grow well into the future.”

These advantages go both ways, and it's safe to say that Osaka residents are just as thrilled. As Evans says, "Australia is a highly sought-after destination for Japanese tourists with many staying longer and spending more while they are here."

There are also plenty of onward travel opportunities in both Sydney and Osaka, so thrice-weekly flights are always going to be welcome, all year.

This article was updated 14 September, as Qantas announced the shift from seasonal to year-round flights.


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