Australian flag carrier Qantas has resumed direct flights between Melbourne and Tokyo for the first time in more than three years, after the Covid-19 pandemic grounded the route.
In a statement, Qantas said that as the first airline to provide non-stop flights between Melbourne International Airport and Tokyo's Haneda International Airport, the year-round flights will operate four days per week on an Airbus A330 aircraft, reports Xinhua news agency.
The new service is expected to save passengers nearly two hours of travel to downtown Tokyo compared with the pre-pandemic route to Narita Airport.
"We're pleased we can now offer our customers much easier access to Tokyo city centre and the world's third-largest economy from three major east coast Australian cities," said Qantas Domestic and International CEO Andrew David.
"Our Customers in Victoria have been looking forward to the return of this route, with flights launching in time for travellers to enjoy the Cherry Blossom season in Japan. Corporate travellers can also now save time on their airport commute by flying into or out of Haneda."
With existing routes from Sydney and Brisbane to Haneda International Airport, the airline is now offering customers over 420,000 seats between Australia and Japan annually, as well as the option of double daily flights to Tokyo.