Big news for Australian airline Virgin Australia. Summer 2023 will see the Aussie carrier touchdown in Tokyo Haneda International Airport. Let’s find out about this latest addition to the airline’s route network and what the flight schedule will look like.
About The Virgin Australia Tokyo Haneda Flight
Virgin Australia plans to start operations between Cairns and Tokyo Haneda on June 28 2023. The estimated block flight time for this flight is approximately 7 hours 45 minutes. The flight will operate under flight number VA77 and will connect the two cities as follows:
VA will fly the route using one its Boeing 737-800s in a 3 class configuration:
- Business Class
- Economy X (Extra leg room)
- Economy Class
Why Flight VA77 Will Operate From Cairns
The flight will not operate out of one of Australia’s major airports, such as Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne. It will fly out of the smaller airport of Cairns.
The reason for this, in my opinion, has to do with the city’s position and the range of the aircrafts in Virgin Australia’s fleet. Here’s why:
- Cairns is located on the northern coast of Queensland, one of the most northernly cities in the country. This reduces the distance the Virgin Australia planes will have to fly to make to to Tokyo.
- Tokyo Haneda’s Airport is approximately 5800km away from Cairns which puts the city just within range for Virgin’s 737-800 planes.
Having the flight depart from any other airport in Australia would put Tokyo out of range for this particular aircraft type. So clearly the airline didn’t have many other options with its current fleet.
Connection Focused Operations
Although flight VA77 departs from Cairns Airport, it is also catered to serve clientele in Australia’s east coast major cities. This is the reason why departure and arrivali times of this flight were chosen to make connections possibile.
This is clearly something Virgin Australia will be trying to incentivise as is seen in the launch sale prices. VA’s launch special (return) prices include connecting options such as:
- Brisbane – Cairns – Tokyo starting at 749$ AUD
- Sydney – Cairns – Tokyo starting at 749$ AUD
- Melbourne – Cairns – Tokyo starting at 749$ AUD
Prices for a return trip originating from Cairns start from 699$ AUD.