From 27 October, oneworld member Iberia will operate three weekly flights between Madrid and Tokyo Narita, offering the only nonstop connection between Spain and Japan.

Iberia will fly one of its three-class Airbus A350-900s to Tokyo.

The airline’s A350-900s seat 31 passengers in 1-2-1 configured business class, 24 in premium economy and 293 in standard economy class.

Owing to Russian airspace restrictions, the flights will take longer than usual and take a circuitous round-the-world route.

Iberia says: “Due to the closure of Russian airspace, the flight path to Tokio has been adjusted. Given the critical role of winds in route planning, customers flying round-trip with Iberia will do a round-the-world trip, as the outbound from Madrid to Tokyo will be done across the south and the inbound across the north, above Russia, across the Pacific Ocean and the Artic.”

Iberia previously served Tokyo, and the new flights launching next year will once again become part of the Siberian Joint Business agreement with oneworld partners Japan Airlines, British Airways and Finnair, applicable to routes between Japan and Europe.

The first time the Spanish airline flew to Tokyo was in 1986. Unlike the direct flights that will launch next year, at that time the flight plan included two stops, one in Barcelona and the other in Mumbai.

In 1992, with the addition of the Airbus A340 and an upgraded version of the Boeing 747, Iberia for the first time flew to Tokyo nonstop. This lasted until 1998, and then Iberia did not return to Japan until 2016. The pandemic eventually prompted another exit.

“Our return to Tokyo is remarkable news. It represents the return of Iberia to Japan, where it began operations in 1986, and together with the recently launched direct flights to Doha, it confirms our commitment to Asia. The economic growth of the countries in this continent is immense, as indicated by all the forecasts for the coming decades. At Iberia, we want to show Madrid’s potential as a gateway to Spain, the rest of Europe, and Latin America, to connect these two parts of the world,” comments María Jesús López Solás, Iberia’s commercial and network development and alliances director.