Australia’s flag carrier is further expanding its Japanese network, adding nonstop flights between Sydney and Hokkaido.
New Sydney – Sapporo service
Qantas will fly three times per week from Sydney to Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport between 16 December 2019 and 28 March 2020.
Qantas says that this service will:
…[meet] a growing demand from Australians wanting to travel to the popular Japanese ski holiday destination. Travel between Australia and Japan is booming. These new flights make it easier for Australians to reach Hokkaido’s popular ski resorts like Niseko and Rusutsu.
There is no award availability in Business Class, but there is a smattering in Economy Class. With cash, you can find tickets on this nonstop service starting at $986 return in Economy Class. By comparison, the cheapest connecting flights (with other carriers) start at $738 return.
Depending on how this route performs, I expect this seasonal service to be extended for the 2020-21 ski season.
The last time Qantas served Sapporo was with flights from Cairns in 2006.
Aircraft, cabin & routes
Qantas flies to Japan on the following routes:
- Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane – Tokyo
- Sydney – Osaka
- Sydney – Sapporo (16 December 2019 to 28 March 2020)
(Jetstar flies from Cairns and the Gold Coast to Tokyo, as well as Cairns to Osaka.)
All flights except Sydney – Tokyo are serviced by the Airbus A330 fleet, which feature Qantas’ modern Business Class product in a 1-2-1 configuration.
Business Class on Sydney – Tokyo’s Boeing 747 aircraft is an older affair, set up in a 2-2-2 configuration.
Premium Economy is not available on A330s but is on the 747.
How to book Qantas flights to Japan using your points
The four main points currencies Australia-based travellers can use on Qantas flights are:
Here is a comparison of one-way Business Class award pricing on these routes:
|American Airlines AAdvantage||40,000|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||50,000|
|Qantas Points||72,000 (increasing to 82,000 from 18 September 2019)|
|British Airways Avios||77,250|
Taxes through Qantas are ~$270 departing Australia and ~$220 on the return.
Qantas continues to ride the wave of increased interest by Australia-based travellers for trips to Japan.
Make sure to book well in advance as award seats on these flights are highly sought after.