Excellent Business Class Fares Between Japan and Australia

Filed Under: Great Deals, Malaysia

Certain markets, like Europe to Asia, and the reverse, regularly see discounted premium fare deals. It is rarer to see great deals between Asia and Australia, so there are two fares that have caught my eye this week.

Right now, oneworld member Malaysia Airlines has return business class fares from Tokyo Narita to Sydney for around $1,450 per person, available on most days from now until Christmas.

The flight from Tokyo to Kuala Lumpur will be on the A380, which features fully flat seats in a 2-2-2 layout. You will then continue to Sydney on either the A330, which features a staggered layout, or depending on your date of travel, may even be on their flagship A350 aircraft, which may allow you to select a first class seat for free, as I have written about recently.

Flights to Melbourne and Adelaide are available for around $500 more per person, which I would consider to be a ‘good’ but not ‘excellent’ price.

Often great premium deals are between more obscure airports so this is an excellent deal for anyone looking to fly between two of the biggest airports in their respective regions.

Hong Kong Airlines & Virgin Australia to Melbourne

You Have Been Upgraded has written about a similarly priced deal from Tokyo to Melbourne, with the flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong on Hong Kong Airlines, and then Virgin Australia from Hong Kong to Melbourne (as Hong Kong Airlines doesn’t fly to Melbourne, and Virgin Australia doesn’t fly to Japan), at $1,460 per person, return in business class.

Hong Kong Airlines is not as well known as Cathay Pacific but Ben flew them recently and concluded that he would ‘recommend Hong Kong Airlines in a heartbeat. They offer a first-rate business class experience, which I wasn’t expecting.’

As for the Hong Kong to Melbourne legs on Virgin Australia’s A330 aircraft, I’ve flown all three direct carriers in business class on this route (the other two being Qantas and Cathay Pacific), and while all three are excellent, Virgin Australia was the best, as both the food and service were both spectacular.

I would definitely recommend this flight!

Now the quirk with this fare is that it is not available on Google Flights, Skyscanner, or ITA Matrix. It does appear to be valid through Expedia’s Japan site (which prices in JPY).

I have written before about my approach to booking through online travel agents I am unfamiliar with, but in this case I would be comfortable booking through Expedia Japan.

Hong Kong Airlines partners with Virgin Australia, so I would be crediting this fare to Velocity. These flights are HX code Z fares (discount business) which earn a fairly disappointing 0.8 Velocity points per mile flown, but you’d still be earning at least 10,000 Velocity points for this fare.

Bottom line

It’s great to see these deals on some interesting airlines with great products between major airports. Given these fares are almost matching each other, and have been around for a few days, I don’t think they are mistake fares and I would be comfortable booking either.

Is anyone taking advantage of these great fares between Tokyo and Australia?

(Tip of the hat to You Have Been Upgraded)

  1. There are two flights for Malaysia Airlines from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo Narita, the morning departure is A350 and the evening departure is A380. First class seat is for sale, so you cannot select first class seat for free if you are only a business class passenger.

    Again, please do you research.

  2. James you are amazing. Interesting and relevant information and you don’t waste time on the greedy CC nonsense

  3. James, another great post.
    As I said before – sticking with your Aussie premium roots suits you

  4. @ adam – as I said in the article, there is a chance of selecting a first class seat on the Sydney leg on the A350. I didn’t mention anything about an A350 (or a first class seat) on the Tokyo leg ; )

  5. This places NO monetary value on the 13 extra hours EACH WAY it takes to get there (26 hours). Surely some of your readers are worth more than 50 USD per hour.

  6. For some reason I am not seeing any of these Malaysia Air flights, but I am consistently seeing from both SYD and even moreso BNE through at least next spring, all around the $1500 mark with most of those flights on EVA or China Airlines. Some days are in the $800s if you are willing to fly a Qantas/Aircalin combo through Noumea. Is this Malaysia fare really that excellent?

    James, as an aside, being the new South Pacific expert on here, I am hoping you can help. I am trying to decide on my return flight from Aus next March to the east coast of the US. Is there anywhere I could contact you directly for a quick ranking/preference of 3 flights I have found in case you have experience in any of them? Did not want to hijack the comment section on this article if not relevant, but happy to just ask here for others to provide input.

  7. Doh! I’m a moron – was still searching one-way flights for my own personal use. Return bumps those flights up to $2k, so yea the Malaysia fare would be excellent.

  8. I keep reading about serious safety concerns for Hong Kong Airlines.

    This is the article that first gave me concern about the airline’s safety. One of their former pilots (who resigned because of such safety concerns) said “I wouldn’t put my wife and kids on Hong Kong Airlines – I really wouldn’t.”

    And here’s a more recent article grabbed randomly after a search for “Hong Kong Airlines safety”. (as much about government oversight as for Hong Kong Airlines)


  9. @stvr, how the hell are you getting from Osaka to Tokyo, rickshaw? It’s certainly not 13 hours.

  10. @Adam seriously? You come off as a puerile pedant.

    @stvr for many who read these forums getting from A to B in the shortest possible time is not the concern. A cheaper flight with access to great lounges compensates nicely.

  11. @adam – You should try reading the article a bit more closely before asking other people to do their research.

  12. Eh. James, you wrote a recent article about selecting F seats on J bookings. But i’ve been reading a lot of people’s experience about being kicked out of the cabin and being randomly assigned another seat before check-in. There is even a story on this very site about the inaugural domestic sectors where people got kicked out.

  13. @Josh I think he is comparing flight times TYO-SYD (9’45”) vs TYO-KUL-SYD (22’40”).

  14. Hi James, How about vice versa journey ? for example BNE – HKG – NRT ? how about any flight inbound or outbound flight to Korea?
    I fly to Between Australia and Asia at about 110,000 miles per year, but I haven’t seen good deal for residents in Down under.

  15. @ Brendan – premium fare deals from Australia to anywhere are extremely rare. I will definitely be writing about any that come up.

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