Japan Airlines announces nonstop service to South India

Japan Airlines (JAL) on Wednesday announced that it will launch a new nonstop service between Tokyo-Narita and Bengaluru, during the summer of 2020.

“The IT industry is thriving in Bangalore and is known as the Silicon Valley of India, where global corporations focusing in telecommunications, biotechnology, and automobiles are strategically based in this unique city. As direct flights are currently not in service from Japan, the launch of this route will provide customers from North America a new option when travelling to the southern region of India,” JAL stated in a release.

“Reservations and ticket sales will be accepted when plans are finalized,” the JAL added. Welcoming the announcement, Consul-General of Japan in Bengaluru Takayuki Kitagawa said launch of non-stop flights from Bengaluru to Tokyo (Narita) will herald a new era of more strengthened economic relation between Karnataka and Japan.

“With this development not only will tourism flourish in Karnataka and Japan but also many new businesses will be established; thereby creating lots of new opportunities,” he said.

According to him, with the relaxation of visa norms from January, the new flight service is bound to see a huge increase in Indian visitors from Bengaluru to Japan. “The new flight service will enable people to travel not just to Tokyo but also to many cities in the US easily. Once the Silicon Valley of India and US are connected, we can probably expect Tokyo to become the next Silicon Valley, too. This flight service is more than a win-win, it is a triple win situation for India, Japan and the US,” he added.

Japan is one of the important ports of call for Indian businesses, and similarly, Japanese companies have also been partnering more and more in India over the years. So, it has always surprised me that for India connections, both JAL and ANA, the two major carriers of Japan, and Indian carriers have not had enough connections. Mumbai has only one direct flight to Tokyo on ANA, Delhi has three flights, one from Air India, JAL and ANA each. Time to fix it, said ANA. There will be a new ANA Chennai Tokyo Flight coming this winter.

Starting in winter 2019, ANA will begin to operate flights from Narita to Chennai, India, marking the first direct connection between Japan and Chennai. This will be the third destination in India that ANA will offer service to.

Here is ANA’s reasoning to add the new flight:

India sends many visitors to Japan, and demand for travel to the country is increasing annually as economic growth continues. ANA intends to capitalise on this growth by opening the only direct flight from Japan to South India.
Chennai has the second largest port in India and has an established automobile industry. Chennai is also called the “Detroit of India,” so cargo demand can be anticipated in addition to passenger demand.
Information about the launch date, schedule, aircraft and timing for the start of sales will be announced when it becomes available.

But that is not all, ANA is also going to permanently upgauge their 787-8 flights from Mumbai to a 787-9 flight as of September 1, 2019, which means they go up from 169 seats on the plane to 215 seats. However, premium capacity will be limited as only six more J class seats will come on the plane.