Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) will open a non-stop route with an Airbus A350 between Copenhagen Kastrup and Tokyo Haneda from summer 2020 to replace its current route to Tokyo Narita and give travellers better access to downtown Tokyo.

The Japanese capital has two major airports, Haneda and Narita. Haneda is much closer to central Tokyo than Narita, making it a favourite with business travellers.

The airline said that by flying to Haneda, it will also increase connectivity with fellow Star Alliance member All Nippon Airways (ANA) to 30 domestic destinations in Japan. SAS did not provide information on connectivity with ANA regarding its current flights to Narita.

“Japan is already a very popular destination, and this will provide a positive boost for our travellers, both in relation to business travel and tourism. The new service offers an attractive timetable to Haneda and we hope it will be well received and appreciated by our travellers throughout Scandinavia and Japan,” says Rickard Gustafson, president and CEO, SAS.

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific has contacted SAS to ask for a flight timetable, as well as other information about the new route, but has not yet received a response.

The airline said in a press release that “[t]he route is particularly well timed as SAS is in a unique cross border partnership with the three national Scandinavian Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committees and will be their principal airline partner during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.”

This week it released images of the interiors on its new A350 aircraft, which will have business, premium economy and economy cabins.

The big picture: SAS unveils A350 cabins

What’s so good about Haneda? 

A classic mistake for first-time visitors to Tokyo is to hop in a taxi from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo – and end up with an eye-watering bill of around US$200. While Narita has a fast Skyliner train that can take you downtown in about 40 minutes, buses could take 1.5 to two hours, depending on traffic.

Haneda, then, is the more attractive option if taking road transportation from the airport. Taxis in Tokyo aren’t at all cheap, but a fare from Haneda is probably going to be in the region of US$70 – and therefore less likely to raise the eyebrows of whoever approves expenses in your company.

You can read our handy guide on getting to central Tokyo from both Haneda and Narita here:

Smart traveller: How to get from Tokyo Narita/Haneda airports to the city

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific previously reported that several international airlines have decided to shift some or all of their flights from Narita to Haneda Airport, such as Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.

Meanwhile, some other airlines have announced the launch of new services from or to Haneda, including United Airlines, Finnair, as well as two major Japanese carriers ANA and Japan Airlines.

Qantas and Virgin Australia both recently obtained slots at Haneda Airport as well.

sasgroup.net