All Nippon Airways (ANA) has become the first airline to fly nonstop between Perth and Tokyo in eight years following the arrival of the inaugural service on Sunday.
Flight NH881, operated by Boeing 787-8 JA814A, took off from Tokyo Narita Airport at about 1115 local time on Sunday and landed in Perth about 10 hours later at 2015.
The aircraft was on the ground for about 90 minutes before taking off as the reciprocal NH882 bound for Tokyo Narita.
The 787-8 ANA is using on the route seats 184 passengers in a three-class configuration – 32 seats in business with direct aisle access for every passenger, 14 seats in premium economy laid out in two rows of eight and 138 seats in economy at nine abreast.
Now boarding! NH881 heading to Perth/PER??(@Go5_TSUBASA)風に/搭乗機材はB787-8、JA814Aでした。
— NG*H/冬眠 (@h4b82kix) September 1, 2019
Perth Airport chief executive Kevin Brown said the ANA service would have significant benefits for the West Australian economy.
“Perth is only the second Australian city served by ANA, showing the airline’s commitment to the Western Australian tourism industry, and we are looking forward to building a strong partnership with ANA to ensure this route is a success for both the airline and WA,” Brown said in a statement on Sunday.
“This service also makes it easier for outbound passengers to tap into ANA’s extensive domestic network and we also expect the service to increase trade and business opportunities for companies in both countries.”
Perth is ANA’s second destination in Australia. The Japanese carrier started Sydney-Tokyo Haneda flights in December 2015, following an absence of more than a decade in Australia.
— Richard Kreider (@Richard_Kreider) September 1, 2019
ANA chairman Shinya Katanozaka the new Perth-Tokyo Narita flight would strengthen the bonds between the two cities.
“Perth is the largest gateway to Western Australia, and this route will make it easier for more people in Australia to visit and experience all Japan has to offer, from cherry blossoms in spring to the winter skiing season,” Katanozaka said.
“We are also looking forward for the people in Australia to travel to Japan for the Rugby World Cup later this month.
“I hope that everyone who visits Japan will enjoy the food and culture there as well as its unique climate and the beauty of our nature.”
VIDEO: Some pre-departre festivities at Tokyo Narita Airport before the departure of the inaugural NH881, from the Tourism Western Australia Facebook page.
Among those on the inaugural service from Tokyo Narita were West Australian tourism minister Paul Papalia, as well as Australia’s Ambassador to Japan Richard Court.
Meanwhile, West Australian Premier Mark McGowan and traditional Aboriginal dancers were at the airport to greet arriving passengers.
— Perth Airport (@PerthAirport) September 1, 2019
Further, a statement from the Premier’s office said Perth’s Matagarup Bridge and Optus Stadium were lit up in blue to welcome ANA to Perth.
And passengers on the flight to Perth received a toy quokka – a native animal of Western Australia – and a free ticket to travel to Rottnest Island as gifts.
#ANA #Boeing 787-9 JA814A Flight #ANA881 From #Tokyo #Japan Flew A Lap Over #Perth Before Landing At #PerthAirport On Runway 21 At 8:07pm. #AvGeek #PerthNews #WesternAustralia pic.twitter.com/wud2YQiJS8
— Weather WA (@weather_wa) September 1, 2019
Back in Tokyo, one of the Keisei Skyliner high-speed trains that operates between Narita Airport and Tokyo features a quokka exterior as part of a promotional campaign for Western Australia.
“New direct aviation access like this is absolutely critical to unlocking the tourism potential of Western Australia as it helps attract visitors, drives investment and creates jobs,” Premier McGowan said.
— Ralph Hosking (@ralphhosking) September 2, 2019
Brown noted industry forecasts suggested the number of Japanese travelling to Western Australia would increase from about 29,000 a year to about 76,000 over the the next three years.
Perth was left without a nonstop flight to Japan in 2011, when Qantas ended a three-times-weekly service with Boeing 767-300ER equipment.
All Nippon Airways managing director for the Australia/Oceania region Ryo Sadayuki said there has been a strong response to the flight since it was launched in December 2018.
“The traffic between Japan and Australia has been growing steadily in the last four to five years, particularly from Australia,” Sadayuki said on August 30.
“We feel the same trend in Western Australia.”
Nissy is going to Perthpic.twitter.com/JGFLfTh8WG
— Li~? [ia] (@l_riantii) July 3, 2019
VIDEO: Japanese musician Nissy is helping ANA promote Perth in Japan.
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