Qantas will launch a new daily service between Melbourne and Tokyo-Narita airport on December 16, subject to government and regulatory approval.

The route will be operated by a two-class A330-300, offering 28 seats in business and 269 in economy.

Flight QF79 will depart Melbourne at 0915 and land in Tokyo-Narita at 1730 the same day. The return service QF80 will leave Japan at 1900 and touch back down in Australia at 0730 the next day.

This adds to Qantas’s Sydney–Tokyo (Haneda) and Brisbane–Tokyo (Narita) services, which were launched in 2015.

CEO of Qantas international and freight, Gareth Evans, said the new service demonstrates the company’s targeted expansion in the Japanese market and Asia in general.

“We’re delighted to be stepping up our commitment to the Japanese market at a boom time for tourism and business travel.

“The Qantas Group is perfectly placed to support the resurgent growth we’re seeing, with the biggest Australia-Japan network, the biggest domestic network in Australia, and the biggest low-cost carrier network in Japan through Jetstar.

“We lifted Qantas’s capacity on Asian routes by 17 per cent last financial year, so this is very much part of a larger pivot to Asia.”