British Airways Launching Flights To Osaka, Japan

British Airways flies to both Tokyo Narita and Tokyo Haneda, and has now announced that they will be launching non stop flight to Osaka Kansai with the following schedule from March 31, 2019:

  • BA19 London Heathrow to Osaka Kansai departing 2:40pm arriving 9:50am (+1) [Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays]
  • BA20 Osaka Kansai to London Heathrow departing 11:30am arriving 3:50pm [Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays]

The flight will be operated by BA’s Boeing 787-8 aircraft, which is three class, with economy, premium economy and business class. These aircraft do not have first class.

The flight is blocked at 11 hours 30 minutes east bound, and 12 hours 30 minutes west bound.

Ben reviewed the British Airways A380 business class seat, which is very similar to their Boeing 787 business class seat.

British Airways has said of the new route:

The new route takes the number of daily flights between London and Japan offered as part of British Airways’ joint business with Japan Airlines up to 32 per week.

Japanese tourism is set to grow from 24 million annual visitors in 2016 to 40 million in 2020. Osaka was recently named as the third most liveable city in the world and is considered to be the food capital of Japan.

British Airways has not flown to Osaka since 1998. The airline will codeshare on connections from Tokyo Haneda and Miyazaki, Kumamoto, Komatsu and Matsuyama (remembering British Airways flies from London Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda already).

Award Availability

Award flights have already been loaded on this flight, regardless of whether booking through British Airways Executive Club, American AAdvantage, or another program. British Airways promises to make at least two business class and four economy award seats available per flight, and that’s the case here as well.

You can book this flight for 75,000 American AAdvantage miles one-way in business class.

Alternatively you can redeem British Airways Avios at the cost of 75,000 Avios one-way during off-peak periods, and 90,000 Avios one-way during peak periods for business class.

Remember that unfortunately no matter how you book, you will be hit with both fuel surcharges and the frustrating UK APD for these flights, although you may choose to start from somewhere outside the UK to eliminate this APD. The one-way ticket from London to Osaka comes with nearly $500 in taxes and surcharges.

Himeji Castle

Bottom line

I’ve been to Japan numerous times and while Tokyo is an undeniably fantastic city, I would say Osaka is my favourite place in Japan.

I loved how few tourists there were and actually enjoyed how few people spoke English — it was a unique experience, and a good chance for me to brush up on my Japanese I learnt at school!

Remember if you are flying into Osaka and want to explore the rest of the country, you could either explore a Japan Rail Pass, or book cheap domestic flights within Japan this way.

British Airways does have an impressive international route network!

Have you visited Osaka?

Comments

  1. Having the Osaka option is nice. That way you can fly into Tokyo, take the shinkansen down to Kyoto, then finish up in Osaka and fly out of Kansai. A good starter’s tour of Japan.

  2. How can you say Osaka has “too few tourists?” It’s crowded with travelers from Korea throughout the whole year. There are more than 6 airlines operating KIX-SEL. Maybe all Asian people in Japan just looks local to you. I’m not surprised but the comment you made was ridiculous.

  3. @ cmon – I meant compared with Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima, it felt like there were a lot less tourists in Osaka. I never said there were ‘too few tourists’.

    I may not speak Korean, but I can recognise the difference between the two languages, when I hear them being spoken on the street ; )

  4. The largest Korean Japanese community in Japan is in Osaka (90k people strong), so those Korean speakers might not all be tourists…

  5. @James

    Why reply to @cmon after he called the comment ‘ridiculous’? You were clearly just telling us a harmless opinion about Osaka, and had no ‘ridiculous’ tone whatsoever.

    Its your blog, and if I were you I’d just delete an abusive comment like that.

  6. Osaka is crawling with tourists! I live in Hong Kong and it’s impossible to go 5 minutes in that city without hearing Chinese, which makes you feel like you haven’t left. It’s a great city, but there are plenty of LCCs doing cheap regional flights to KIX, plus it’s on the tourist trail for most people.

  7. Interesting, since Air France flies CDG-KIX and uses JL for connections beyond KIX
    Maybe a sign for AF and JL cutting codeshare?

  8. Excellent news! I have been wanting to go to Osaka for a while now and had been surprised by the lack of non-stop options from London on any airline (and the outrageous price of one-stop connection options via Tokyo). U.K.-Japan remains a thinly-served and massively over-priced market (esp in premium cabins) so anything that increases the number of weekly flights is good thing – also happy to see BA expanding further in the Far East.

  9. You must not have been to Osaka anytime recently. It’s going through a huge tourist boom and it seems to have just as many tourists as Tokyo if not more. The main difference is that the tourists are mostly Chinese and Korean. There are much fewer Westerners.

  10. Do any BA Executive members know the status of the class action lawsuit? BA was expected to Pay Up to 2.2 Billion Avios or $31 Million in Fuel Surcharge Settlement Refunds. The legal rights and options expired in July. I suppose I could email: info@fuelsurchargeclassaction.com for further information of payout timing, but I thought I would address to OMAAT to quickly see if anyone knows what the status is?

  11. Do any BA Executive Members have an update regarding BA’s Class action lawsuit + payout:
    BA to Pay Up to 2.2 Billion Avios or $31 Million in Fuel Surcharge Settlement Refunds? The deadline to submit cash option or Avios was back in July. Do any OMAAT Executive Members know what the status is?

  12. The other thing that I haven’t seen mentioned is the possibility of getting the 4 BA segment requirement for Silver / Gold via the new codeshares from Haneda to Miyazaki, Kumamoto, Komatsu and Matsuyama.

    Since they will be BA coded they should be eligible?

  13. @Alex

    Himeji is in Keihanshin (Kobe-Osaka-Kyoto) commuter zone. Even non-Shinkansen train will take you from Himeji to Osaka in only a little over an hour.

    How is that not “close”?

  14. So BA lays off all HKG staff and starts a new KIX route, since there is minimal KIX – LHR competition with with competitors you’d want to fly on.

    “If you can’t beat them, avoid them!”

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