Back in July, ANA All Nippon Airways announced its intention to start flights between Tokyo and Vladivostok next year.
Yesterday, the airline provided more details about the new service, and today, it started selling tickets on the route.
NH883/884: Tokyo Narita – Vladivostok and Back
ANA will fly between Tokyo Narita (NRT) and Vladivostok (VVO) twice a week, starting on March 16, 2020. Until March 28, 2020, the flights will operate with the following schedule:
- NH883 / NRT – VVO / 11:00AM – 02:15PM (Mondays)
- NH883 / NRT – VVO / 11:10AM – 02:25PM (Fridays)
- NH884 / VVO – NRT / 03:15PM – 04:25PM (Mondays)
- NH884 / VVO – NRT / 03:40PM – 04:50PM (Fridays)
From March 29, 2020, onwards, the flight will operate at a later time:
- NH883 / NRT – VVO / 01:35PM – 04:50PM (Mondays)
- NH883 / NRT – VVO / 12:15PM – 03:30PM (Fridays)
- NH884 / VVO – NRT / 07:10PM – 08:20PM (Mondays)
- NH884 / VVO – NRT / 06:00PM – 07:10PM (Fridays)
The flights will be operated using Airbus A320neo aircraft with 8 recliner seats in business class and 138 economy class seats.
At the occasion of announcing the details of the new route, Seiichi Takahashi, Senior Vice President of ANA said:
ANA has long targeted Russia for expansion, and we chose Vladivostok as our first Russian destination because it serves as a gateway that connects Eurasia with the Pacific.
While ANA will be the first Japanese airline to operate flights between Tokyo and the city in the Russian Far East, JAL previously announced intentions to launch the route next year as well.
The new flights will be the only Star Alliance connection between Japan and Russia.
Currently, two Russian carriers provide a connection between the two cities as well. Aeroflot’s subsidiary Aurora operates six weekly flights and S7 Airlines operates daily flights.
Several other Russian destinations are served out of Tokyo Narita as well including Khabarovsk (S7 Airlines), Moscow (Aeroflot and JAL), Novosibirsk (S7 Airlines), and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Aurora).
While there is demand for travel on the route by business passengers, visiting Vladivostok is attractive to Japanese tourists – mainly for two reasons – as well:
- It’s close to Japan: Being less than 700 miles from Tokyo, it provides a chance to experience Russia without having to fly for ten hours to Moscow.
- It’s accessible with e-visas: Starting in 2017, the Russian government allows, among others, Japanese citizens to visit the Far East without having to get “proper” visas.
Considering the fact that many Japanese travelers prefer ANA (and JAL) over foreign carriers, the route is likely to enjoy some success.
That’s in spite of the fact that two Russian airlines – Aurora and S7 Airlines – already provide non-stop flights between the two cities, 13 times a week combined.