SAS to Move from Tokyo Narita to Haneda in March 2020

Earlier today, SAS Scandinavian Airlines officially announced that it will launch Tokyo Haneda – Copenhagen flights in spring 2020.

The new route will replace the airline’s existing flights from the Danish capital to Tokyo Narita airport.

SAS to Move from Tokyo Narita to Haneda in March 2020
SAS will also be switching from A340 to A350 on its Tokyo flights. (Credit: SAS)

SAS to Move to Tokyo Haneda in Spring 2020

Currently, SAS operates Copenhagen (CPH) – Tokyo Narita (NRT) flights six times a week with the following schedule:

  • SK983 / CPH – NRT / 3:45PM – 10:40AM+1 (excl. Tue)
  • SK984 / NRT – CPH / 12:30PM – 4:05PM (excl. Wed)

The airline uses its Airbus A340-300s with 247 seats in three classes on the route for a total of 1,482 seats a week in each direction. On each flight, it offers 40 staggered business class seats, 28 premium economy class seats, and 179 economy class seats.

SAS A340 Tokyo Narita
For its Narita flights, SAS uses Airbus A340 aircraft.

It is expected that the first Haneda-bound (HND) flight will depart Copenhagen on March 29, 2020, with the return flight departing Tokyo the following day. The route is expected to be operated daily with the following schedule:

  • SK983 / CPH – HND / 2:05PM – 7:50AM+1
  • SK984 / HND – CPH / 11:50AM – 4:10PM

It’s worth noting here that it will not be the first time for SAS to operate scheduled flights to Haneda since the airline also served the airport decades ago, before Narita airport was built.

Another thing worth noting is that with the shift from Narita to Haneda, SAS also plans to switch the aircraft type from the A340 quad jet to the latest addition to its fleet – the Airbus A350. That will also mean a capacity increase to 300 seats per flight including 40 staggered business class seats, 32 premium economy class seats, and 228 economy class seats.

SAS Airbus A350 Business Class
SAS A350s are equipped with staggered business class seats. (Credit: SAS)

The return to Haneda has been made possible thanks to newly available slots at the airport and, according to Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO of SAS, is an important moment for the airline:

Japan is already a very popular destination, and this will provide a positive boost for our travelers, both in relation to business travel and tourism.

He also explained the importance of being able to do the move before the Tokyo Olympics take place in summer:

SAS looks forward to the opportunity to serve Haneda from summer season 2020 in time for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. With this initiative, SAS aims to support Olympic athletes in the national teams of Denmark, Norway and Sweden in their quest for Olympic success.

Star Alliance’s connectivity between Japan and Scandinavia will improve even further next year, since ANA is planning to launch non-stop flights between Tokyo Haneda and Stockholm sometime during the summer schedule.

Summary

It’s unfortunate that SAS won’t be launching Oslo or Stockholm flights in addition to the Copenhagen – Narita flights.

However, it’s also understandable since the combined market of the three countries is not large enough – as experienced by Norwegian – to accommodate flights from two or three Scandinavian cities. Especially so since ANA plans to serve Stockholm.

Overall, with SAS and other airlines like Aeroflot and Alitalia moving to Haneda, next year is going to be an exciting one for the airport.

On the other hand, it will be a difficult year for Narita which has recently announced a new incentive program to try to attract new long-haul flights to potentially replace the ones that the airport is set to lose in a few months.

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