Lufthansa will return to Tokyo's convenient Haneda airport in 2014, after an absence of over 35 years, with flights from Frankfurt and Munich.
The German carrier last served Haneda with its own aircraft way back in 1978, the year Narita opened and the Japanese authorities moved all international services there, even though it was much further away from Tokyo city centre.
It meant that Haneda, far closer to downtown than Narita, was "downgraded" to being purely a domestic airport.
But as we have reported, local authorities realised they made a mistake when Japan lost air traffic to rival foreign hubs and, in recent times, they have begun to slowly open up Haneda to international services.
The big difference between Lufthansa and our own British Airways, is that Lufthansa will fly to Haneda from two cities in its home country whereas BA will fly from just one.
From Frankfurt there will be a daily Lufthansa service with a B747-400, while a daily service from Munich will be rostered for an A340-600. As a result the existing Munich service to Narita will be switched to Haneda.
Lufthansa's existing daily service from Frankfurt into Tokyo Narita will continue. So too will its current codeshare arrangement on the Frankfurt - Tokyo Haneda route with Japan's All Nippon Airways.
All told, Lufthansa will field three daily flights between Germany and Tokyo plus the ANA code-share operation.
The flight timings for Haneda are:
- Frankfurt - Tokyo Haneda, LH716, 1820 - 1215 (arriving the next day)
- Tokyo Haneda - Frankfurt, LH717, 1405 - 1845
- Munich - Tokyo Haneda, LH714, 1545 - 1005 (arriving the next day)
- Tokyo Haneda - Munich, LH715 1150 - 1655
As might be expected, Lufthansa's Haneda flights provide connecting opportunities at its twin hubs of Frankfurt and Munich.
Flight schedules are already posted on the carrier's website.