Jetstar is hoping to help revive the flagging Japanese visitor market by offering same-day services with introductory one-way fares of $449.
Jetstar will offer passengers travelling on the airline’s daily services from Tokyo and Osaka a connection to Auckland via its Gold Coast hub starting on October 25.
Total flying time will be between 11 hours and 12 hours plus transit time.
The airline says it has the potential to result in thousands of additional Japanese tourists being able to conveniently visit New Zealand each year while providing Kiwi tourists with another option to fly there.
The recession-hit traditional Japanese market – older travellers – was more inclined to stay put or travel within Asia and this had been compounded by reluctance to travel because of swine flu.
Any boost to Japanese visitor numbers would be welcomed by the tourism industry.
Ministry of Tourism figures show the number of annual arrivals has fallen from around 175,000 six years ago to a forecast 74,000 this year.