Planned Q1 flights between Japan and Europe remain at just 50% of pre-pandemic levels

Japan’s reopening means many airlines have resumed service, although inevitably most markets still have fewer flights than before the pandemic. Europe is no exception and is still affected by most airlines not flying over Russia. In the first quarter of 2023, 1,620 non-stop flights to Japan are scheduled between January and March, which is only 54% of the number in the first quarter of 2020, according to the latest OAG data.

Japan-Europe: Q1 2023

Japan will offer non-stop passenger flights to 14 European countries in the first quarter. These include Italy, which launched ITA, Alitalia’s successor, in early Novemberand Finland, with Finnair, Tokyo Haneda inaugurates on October 30th, which complements Finland’s other routes from Japan. About 18 European airports are served, the top ten below.


Note how far there is still to go before the pre-corona numbers are reached, let alone surpassed. This is especially true for Munich and Amsterdam and especially Helsinki and Paris CDG to the better served airports. CDG previously took first place but is now third. Its decline is due to this AirFrancewhose Japan flights are half what they used to be, mainly because of CDG-Tokyo Haneda, is 1x daily instead of 2x.

Finnair A350-900

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Easy flying.

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Japan to Heathrow

While the number of Heathrow flights is down to three quarters, the airport still has the second highest number of Japanese flights after Europe. Between January and March, based on the latest timetable information as of November 14th, the following will operate:

  1. Japan Airlines: 2x daily Tokyo Haneda to London Heathrow; 777-300ER, 787-8
  2. All nippon: 1x daily Tokyo Haneda to London Heathrow; 777-300ER
  3. British Airways: 1x daily Tokyo Haneda to London Heathrow; 787-9, 787-8

The market stays because British Airways. Unlike in the first quarter of 2020, the airline does not have either stretch between London Heathrow to Osaka (operating from March 2019 to March 2020 only) or Tokyo Narita (for years to March 2020). Haneda, on the other hand, has roughly the same number of flights as before, with BA’s Tokyo service overall accounting for just 55% of what it was.

Japan Airlines Boeing 777-346(ER) JA734J Pace

Photo: Vincenzo Pace I Simple flying.

Flights from Istanbul to Japan are up 56%

This is perhaps not surprising Istanbul is the only one of the top ten airports to offer more Japanese flights than before. They’re up 56% from the first quarter of 2020 Turkish Airlines ‘only’ serves Tokyo Narita.

It has increased for two reasons. First, Turkish Airlines will serve Haneda and Narita simultaneously for the first time. Second, Star Alliance partner airline ANA has scheduled a 1x daily Haneda-Istanbul service from March 26th, although this is not bookable at the time of writing. Combined, this means that Istanbul-Tokyo is now served up to 3 times a day.

What do you make of it? Let us know in the comments.

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