One of the world's longest Boeing737 routes is going to be launched by Virgin Australia.

Virgin Australia will fly from Cairns to Tokyo

There will be a new daily flight between Cairns and Tokyo Haneda on June 28, 2020. The flight's schedule will be listed below.

VA77 Cairns to Tokyo departing 1:15PM arriving 8:00PM
VA78 Tokyo to Cairns departing 9:45PM arriving 6:15AM (+1 day)

The flight is blocked at 7 hours 45 minutes in the north and 30 minutes in the south. The first of Virgin Australia's eight Boeing MAX 8s will be delivered in early 2023, and they have a total of eight on order. The airline won't be able to operate this service if the planes aren't delivered on time.

Virgin Australia will fly from Cairns to Tokyo

The planes are expected to have 170 seats, including eight business class seats and 161 economy class seats. Standard recliner seats in business class are what you will find in these cabins. The jets won't have fully flat beds.

Why Virgin Australia is now launching Tokyo flights

Virgin Australia entered voluntary administration after the beginning of the Pandemic. All long haul routes were terminated as part of the airline's reorganization.

Virgin Australia doesn't have any plans to expand its fleet beyond the current number of Boeing 738s. The destinations that Virgin Australia can serve are limited by that.

One of the world's longest Boeing MAX routes will be offered by Virgin Australia when it launches a flight to Tokyo. The route is close to the world's longest Boeing MAX route. GOL operates the 3,776-mile flight between the two cities.

There is only one city in Australia that is within range of Tokyo with the MAX plane. Virgin Australia launched an ambitious route all of a sudden.

Virgin Australia used to have Tokyo Haneda slots before the airline flew wide body jets. Virgin Australia will lose its Tokyo Haneda slots if it doesn't start using them in the first half of next year. Virgin Australia is starting the Tokyo service a few days before the deadline.

I don't want to throw away valuable Haneda slots, but I had to wonder what the long-term play is here. Does Virgin Australia think it can make this service profitable, or is there a plan to acquire other types of planes?

Virgin Australia’s old 777 long haul business class

Bottom line

There will be a daily flight between Cairns and Tokyo. This will be one of the longest routes in the world, as it will be the longest aircraft that Virgin Australia has ever planned to operate. It seems the airline wants to preserve its Tokyo Haneda slots, and this is the only way to do that.

What do you think about Virgin Australia?