Malaysia Airlines Will Begin Direct Flights To Tokyo Haneda This Summer

Malaysia Airlines this week shred that it will launch flights to Tokyo Haneda from Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, August 14th. With this move, the flag carrier of Malaysia bolsters its Japanese network to four routes.

Another option

The airline already flies to Tokyo on two routes. One service heads to Narita from the capital of Kuala Lumpur, and the other flies to Narita from Kota Kinabalu, in the West Coast Division of Sabah. The carrier also flies to Osaka from Kuala Lumpur.

The addition of Haneda Airport is set to ease pressure ahead of a change in industry climate. Malaysia Airlines has been preparing well for a highly-anticipated busy summer period. After two years of being closed to tourists, Malaysia opened its borders to general visitors last month. The nation then quickly dropped its testing requirements for vaccinated passengers at the turn of May.

Kuala Lumpur itself has long been a robust business hub, attracting professionals from across the globe. It has also been a valuable connecting point for the Asia-Pacific region. Meanwhile, it is also a great spot to transit internally to tourism hotspots such as those found across the island of Borneo.

So, with Japan preparing to test the waters to relax travel in recent weeks, Malaysia Airlines is looking to jump on the momentum. Notably, Japan is dropping COVID-19 arrival tests for people from low-risk areas. From June 1st, it is also doubling the cap on overseas visitors to 20,000 per day. Meanwhile, it is looking at trialing a limited number of tourists as conditions continue to change.

Malaysia Airlines has been actively expanding its presence, with initiatives including enhancing its strategic partnership with Qatar Airways and launching a new direct service to Doha this month. Photo: XPinger (Chris Sutton) via Wikimedia Commons

Continental opportunities

Malaysia Airlines Group CEO Captain Izham Ismail shared the following about the Japan service:

“As we anticipate a promising development on Japan’s international borders reopening, this timely expansion is set to enhance the connectivity between the ASEAN market and drive a greater traffic recovery between Malaysia and Japan. As the national carrier, we are committed to ensuring that everyone can Fly Confidently with us, guided by exceptional Malaysian Hospitality and a wide range of services and offerings for our customers wherever they fly with us. This expansion will allow us to tap into new opportunities by operating to Asia’s third-busiest airport and the fourth-busiest airport in the world, stimulating inbound traffic to benefit Malaysian tourism and build stronger multiplier effect across the value chain of the industry.”

Flight MH36 will leave Kuala Lumpur International for Haneda twice a week at 14:45. The A330 will then return the following mornings at 00:25 in the form of MH37.

The airline’s A330-300 twinjets to Haneda are fitted with 290 seats, split between 27 business, 16 economy with extra legroom, and 247 standard economy seats. Photo: lasta29 via Wikimedia Commons

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A new era

Malaysia is a popular country to visit for Japanese residents. In 2019, 424,694 Japanese tourists visited the nation, a 7.6% increase from 394,540 in 2018. The growth was likely to continue if it wasn’t for the pandemic as Japan ranked 8th out of Malaysia’s tourist arrivals by country.

With air travel slowly returning across the Asia-Pacific region, the likes of Malaysia Airlines are keen to meet demand, which has been pent-up for over two years. There have already been busy cabins since the restart of tourism this spring, which is anticipated to continue in the coming months.

What are your thoughts about Malaysia Airlines’ flights to Tokyo Haneda? Are you looking to fly with the carrier soon? Let us know what you think of the operator and its services in the comment section.


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