Both carriers offer over 20 weekly flights to Japan. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: Japan and the UAE have strong trade, tourism and business relations, which are supported by the frequent flights of national airlines Etihad Airways and Emirates.

Both carriers offer over 20 weekly flights to Japan. Etihad offers seven weekly flights to Tokyo, while Emirates offer daily services to Tokyo-Narita, Tokyo-Haneda and Osaka.

To meet the high demand for travel between the two countries, the two carriers plan to expand their operations.

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The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) noted that the UAE and Japan have a long-standing history of bilateral relations. They signed an Air Services Agreement in 1998, which gave their airlines the right to fly regular and non-regular passenger flights, as well as air cargo flights, between the two countries. The UAE’s national carriers serve Narita and Osaka with 21 flights per week, the GCAA added.

In the first half of this year, Emirati airports saw 46,776 passengers leaving for and 45,804 passengers arriving from Japan, the GCAA said, adding 357,214 passengers transited through the country’s airports.

The civil aviation authorities of both countries are working together to increase air traffic by adding more scheduled flights, and plan to hold an air transport meeting before the end of the year to further increase air traffic, the GCAA added.

Etihad, which launched its first flight to Japan in March 2010 and has been flying to Tokyo seven times a week ever since, plans to increase its flights to Japan in October, bringing its total number of weekly flights to 12.

It also plans to expand its service to Japan by adding flights to Osaka starting from October this year. Etihad Airways uses Boeing 787-9 aircraft for its Japan routes.

For its part, Emirates flies to 26 cities in 10 regions across Japan.

Since 2002, Emirates has been flying daily to Osaka and Tokyo, with Narita and Haneda airports serving the Japanese capital.

Through its codeshare partnership with Japan Airlines (JAL), Emirates connects its customers to 26 cities across Japan and ten regional destinations via Tokyo and Osaka.

As travel demand surged following the removal of all pandemic-related travel restrictions and requirements, Emirates resumed its A380 service to Tokyo Narita Airport from November 15, 2022.

Emirates has reaffirmed its strong commitment to Japan’s travel and tourism sector by resuming its A380 service to Narita International Airport.

The carrier’s A380 has a larger seating capacity than its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which operates daily services to Osaka and Haneda. This will help meet the increasing demand for travel to and from Japan and offer more options and flexibility for passengers.

Emirates has also restored its service to the Tokyo-Haneda from April 2, 2023, completing the recovery of its Japanese network and providing more choices and flexibility for travellers to and from one of the world’s top destinations and strongest economies in Asia and globally.

The resumption of the service to Tokyo-Haneda demonstrates Emirates’ continued support for Japan’s travel and tourism industry after the pandemic, serving the growing demand for international travel and boosting inbound travel from key markets through its global network.

Emirates is strengthening its presence in Japan by resuming its service to Haneda, in addition to its daily flights with A380 aircraft to Tokyo-Narita and Boeing 777 aircraft to Osaka.

Haneda has been an important destination for Emirates since 2013, as it connects trade and tourism between Japan and the rest of the world.

Emirates also marked 20 years of successful operations to Kansai International Airport in Osaka last year, becoming the first airline to link Japan and the Middle East in 2002.

Emirates has supported the local community throughout the pandemic by carrying essential cargo from Japan to other global markets via its hub in Dubai, ensuring vital commercial ties in these challenging times.