Austrian Airlines has made its return to Tokyo with the resurrection of its Vienna-Tokyo Narita route less than two years after it dropped the service due to it being economically unfeasible.
The carrier previously axed the route in 2016 in response to the economic downturn and decline of the Japanese yen. However, according to Stephan Linhart, Austrian’s senior director of sales for Austria and Slovakia, market conditions are now “significantly better” enabling the return of the five-times-weekly service.
“We are very pleased that we can return to Japan so quickly,” added Linhart.
The carrier announced it would be reviving the route back in July last year, however since then the service’s schedule has shifted, with flights now operating across two different time slots.
Flights departing Vienna will fly out at 1745 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, but will fly out earlier on Sundays at 1340. The return flights, meanwhile, will depart Japan at 1055 on Mondays, but will take off just under two hours later on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
|OS51||Vienna (VIE)||Tokyo (NRT)||1745||1155+1||Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri|
|OS52||Tokyo (NRT)||Vienna (VIE)||1055||1355||Mon|
|1335||1835||Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat|
Covering a distance of more than 9,100km and taking approximately 11 hours, the route is being operated by one of Austrian’s Boeing 777, the largest aircraft in the carrier’s fleet.
Notably, this gives passengers on the route have the option to book premium economy seating, which the airline began making available on all long-haul services after it completed its retrofit of all B767 and B777 long-haul aircraft in March.
The B777s have 24 seats in the premium economy cabin, laid out across three rows in a 2-4-2 configuration with each offering a minimum pitch (legroom) of 38 inches.
The aircraft also has 38 business class seats with a seated pitch of 44 inches that recline to offer a fully flat bed close to two metres long. These are arranged in a somewhat surprising configuration, alternating between a 1-2-1 layout on odd-numbered rows and a 2-2-2 setup on even rows (the B767, pictured, has a 1-2-1 layout throughout its business class cabin). This alternating setup on the B777 makes seats A and K in rows 1, 3, 5 and 7 prime solo traveller seats.
Economy class, meanwhile, is laid out 10-across (3-4-3) with each seat offering a minimum of 31 inches in pitch.
Austrian also plans to launch a new service to Cape Town using the B777 starting October 27, 2018.