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Virgin makes Tokyo switch

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18 September 2012 by Luke McCormick

Virgin Atlantic is to move its operations in Japan from Tokyo's Narita Airport to Haneda Airport, which is closer to the city, and introduce a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the route from London.

The airline said the decision was taken after officials at Haneda made a decision to offer daylight slots to long-haul carriers from spring 2014.

The move will bring Virgin Atlantic in line with British Airways, which currently operates five flights a week from Heathrow to Haneda in a codeshare with Japan Airlines.

The airline said the decision was taken after a decision by Haneda officials to further develop international operations and offer daylight slots to long-haul carriers from spring 2014.

Virgin Atlantic said the move would be "enormous benefit to both Japanese and British customers" and would boost connectivity on domestic services within Japan.

Virgin Atlantic chief executive Steve Ridgway said: "2014 marks our 25th anniversary of successfully operating flights to Japan and will see us deploying one of our first brand new Boeing 787 aircraft on the route.

"We have definitely seen the market recover post last year's tragic earthquake, with an additional 23% capacity and passenger numbers up by 77%.

"We look forward to enhancing that further as we move into Haneda Airport."

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