All Nippon Airways (ANA) unveiled plans on 26-Dec-2018 to launch services to Perth and confirmed in a 23-Jan-2019 announcement that Perth and Chennai in India will be new destinations for the fiscal year starting 1-Apr-2019 (FY2019).
- All Nippon Airways has selected Perth as its second destination in Australia and will launch a daily service from Tokyo Narita to Perth on 1-Sep-2018;
- Perth and Chennai, which will also be served daily from Tokyo Narita, are All Nippon Airway’s two new international destinations for FY2019;
- Perth has been keen to attract a Tokyo service, which is expected to boost Western Australia tourism, since Qantas suspended Perth-Tokyo in 2011.
Perth will be launched on 1-Sep-2019 with a daily service – just in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which starts on 20-Sep-2019. ANA plans to start selling Perth-Tokyo flights on 7-Feb-2019. ANA has not yet set a launch date for Chennai but stated Chennai will be served daily starting in the 2019 winter schedule.
The addition of Perth and Chennai will increase ANA’s international network to 46 destinations. Perth will be ANA’s second destination in Australia after Sydney, which was launched in 2015. Chennai will be ANA’s third destination in India after Delhi and Mumbai. ANA pointed out that neither Chennai nor Perth currently have any nonstop service from Japan.
Brisbane and Melbourne are larger markets for Australia-Japan traffic than Perth but are already well served following increases from other airlines, prompting ANA to consider Perth. Japan Airlines (JAL) launched Melbourne-Tokyo Narita on 1-Sep-2017. JAL and partner Qantas both now serve Melbourne-Tokyo Narita daily, leaving little room in this market for another competitor.
Qantas launched daily service from Brisbane to Tokyo Narita in 2015. Jetstar also operates from nearby Gold Coast to Narita, leaving little room for a new competitor in the south Queensland-Japan market (Jetstar also operates from Cairns in north Queensland to Tokyo Narita and Osaka Kansai).
Regaining a link to Tokyo has been high on Perth Airport’s wish list since Qantas dropped Perth-Tokyo Narita service in 2011. Perth currently has nonstop services to eight destinations in Asia but does not have any services to three key Asian markets – India, South Korea and Japan.
A Tokyo link is important for Western Australia’s economy as Japan is the ninth largest source market for Western Australia tourism. Overall Japan is Australia’s fifth largest source market after China, New Zealand, the US and the UK. Japanese visitor numbers to Australia increased by 7% in the first 11 months of 2018 to 420,000, outpacing a 5% increase in total visitor numbers to Australia to 8.2 million.
Approximately 140,000 annual passengers now travel between Perth and Tokyo (70,000 each way). Several airlines offer one-stop services in this market including AirAsia, Cathay Pacific, China Southern Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Jetstar, Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways. Singapore Airlines is the market leader and offers competitive fares starting at around USD500 return.
The new nonstop option from ANA is expected to stimulate demand, leading to significant growth in the Perth-Tokyo market as the new service will make it more convenient for Japanese residents to holiday in Western Australia.
ANA also expects to attract Perth area residents seeking to holiday in Japan. Australia is the seventh largest source market for the Japanese tourism industry. Japan recorded a 12% increase in Australian visitor numbers in 2018 to 552,000, outpacing a 9% increase in total visitor numbers to 32 million.
In the 23-Jan-2019 announcement ANA pointed out that “since the seasons are reversed in Japan and Perth, there is a stable market for two-way leisure traffic throughout the year”. ANA also said it expects to generate significant business traffic, particularly from the resources and mining industries.
The Japanese carrier will serve Perth daily with 184 seat Boeing 787-8s, featuring 32 business and 152 economy seats. ANA has decided against offering premium economy in the Perth market; some of its 787-8s are in three-class configuration. ANA uses two class 787-9s for Sydney but operates three class 787s to several other long haul destinations.