Sydney Airport has today welcomed the first flight of All Nippon Airways’ (ANA) new daily direct Tokyo Haneda-Sydney service, with unique livery of Star Wars character R2-D2.
The popular Star Wars character is featured on ANA’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner ahead of the 17 December opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“We’re excited to welcome ANA to Sydney Airport and Australia, offering an excellent product for Australians and Japanese alike,” Sydney Airport Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said.
“We’re also thrilled to showcase the aircraft’s unique R2-D2 livery for passengers and fans in Sydney and for the first time in Oceania.
“The arrival of ANA is great news for tourism and trade, bringing an additional 36,000 Japanese visitors to Sydney each year and contributing an anticipated $74 million in additional annual visitor expenditure to NSW.
“Japan has been Sydney’s fastest growing outbound destination over the last three years. It’s increasingly popular with business and leisure travellers, who will benefit from increased choice with the direct service to Tokyo and convenient links to ANA’s international and domestic routes.”
ANA is the largest airline in Japan, with a network of 80 international and 112 domestic routes. Its daily Tokyo Haneda-Sydney service will arrive in Sydney at 9.35am and depart from Sydney at 9.30pm.
“Today’s launch of services to Sydney marks the opening of our fourth international destination in 2015. The first roundtrip flight was fully booked, and we are happy to report that reservations are strong. We are also excited by the prospect of bringing more Australian travellers to Japan and vice versa,” ANA President and CEO Osamu Shinobe said.
“The route links Sydney with Haneda Airport for fast access to central Tokyo. An early morning arrival also lets passengers conveniently connect with our domestic flights to more than 40 airports throughout Japan or fly on to Europe the same day on our Kangaroo Route. Business Class passengers can spend their transit time relaxing in comfort in the Haneda ANA Lounge, which we completely refurbished this year.”
NSW Premier Mike Baird welcomed ANA’s service.
“I’m pleased to welcome the arrival of ANA’s first daily direct service between Tokyo-Haneda and Sydney, which will encourage more people to explore New South Wales and Japan, and increase trade and business opportunities for companies based in both countries,” NSW Premier Mike Baird said.
“I met with ANA President and CEO Mr Osamu Shinobe in Tokyo earlier this year and commend him on the decision to fly to Sydney. Japan is a priority market for the NSW Government and I look forward to welcoming more Japanese visitors to Sydney and New South Wales.”
ANA’s agreement with The Walt Disney Company is the first time a Star Wars character has appeared on the exterior of a commercial aircraft.
“We’re delighted to welcome ANA’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, featuring the visually striking R2-D2 Star Wars livery, to Sydney in the lead-up to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 17,” said The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Catherine Powell.
“Passionate Australian Star Wars fans have broken all records for ticket pre-sales for the film, so we’re confident they will show their support to ANA on this exciting day.”
Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan said a significant and sustainable increase in aviation capacity was critical to grow the Japanese inbound market.
“ANA’s return to Australia is hugely important and great news for the Australian tourism industry, especially given how capacity constrained the route has been in recent years,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“As an established full service carrier, targeting the same higher yielding Japanese holidaymaker as we are, ANA represents an ideal partner for Tourism Australia. The airline’s strong domestic sales and distribution networks, as well as their extensive frequent flyer database, will enable us to reach many more customers than we would ordinarily be able to do so by marketing on our own.”
Mr O’Sullivan said that Tourism Australia had earmarked significant marketing support for the new Sydney service, working closely with ANA and Japanese distribution partners.
ANA is a member of the world’s largest global air network Star Alliance, providing convenient travel links for passengers. Its 787-9 aircraft features technology to optimise cabin humidity and air pressure, and is equipped with the airline’s latest flatbed seats in Business Class, together with an excellent Premium Economy and Economy Class experience.