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Virgin Australia proposes Brisbane route for Haneda slot

Virgin Australia has proposed launching a Brisbane-Tokyo Haneda service from 29 March 2020 if it is awarded one of the two new slots at Haneda recently made available to Australian carriers.

The airline's application to Australia's International Air Services Commission (IASC) states that, if awarded the coveted slot, it would launch the flights using Airbus A330-200s.

It is also seeking permission for All Nippon Airways to codeshare on its services, which will "play a strong role in boosting our distribution capability and assisting us to attract passengers from point of sale Japan".

The codeshare will include ANA adding its code to some of Virgin's services from Sydney and Perth to feed its own services from there to Haneda.

Virgin is contesting an earlier application from Qantas, which is seeking both slots at Haneda to allow it to operate double-daily services there from Sydney, and to move its existing Melbourne-Tokyo Narita services across to the more desirable airport.

Cirium schedules data shows that Qantas also operates a daily service from Brisbane to Narita and is the sole carrier between the two cities.

In its application, Qantas argues that it is the only carrier capable of successfully launching new services to Japan by the start of the 2020 northern summer scheduling season.

Virgin, however rebutted that assertion, pointing out that it has a business license in Japan and is being supported by its alliance partner Delta Air Lines and ANA to ensure that it will be ready to launch the services if it is awarded the slot.

"Any suggestion that Virgin Australia will not be able to launch flights on 29 March 2020, or lacks the commercial capability to set up our services for success in the future, is mere conjecture," it states.

The IASC plans to allocate the capacity entitlements by 31 October.

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