Details about ANA’s non-stop flights between Chennai and Tokyo

In January 2019, ANA announced that they will launch non-stop flights between Chennai and Tokyo Narita in Winter 2019 season. No further details were provided at that time. Chennai will be ANA’s third Indian destination after Mumbai and Delhi. Now, ANA has shared details about the new connection.

chennai to tokyo

ANA 787

ANA will operate 3x weekly 787-8 flights between Chennai and Tokyo Narita. The first flight is scheduled for October 27, 2019. The schedule for the flight is,

NH825 NRT1110 – 1745MAA 788 357
NH826 MAA2030 – 0725(+1)NRT 788 357

The route will be operated by a three-class premium heavy 169 seat 787-8 featuring 46 business class seats, 21 premium economy seats and 102 economy class seats. Bookings for this route will open in a few days from July 24, 2019.

South India will also get another connection to Japan later, with Bangalore and Tokyo being connected by Japan Airlines.

Will you book ANA’s new Chennai connection?


  1. Was hoping ANA will be another option to connect to SFO/LAX from Southern India and really disappointed with these timings. Surprised the Japanese Carriers are’nt even making an attempt to compete with Cathay or Singapore for traffic from India.

    • I guess they must have captured corporate contracts from Japanese auto makers and subsidiaries and are solely aiming for the point to point Japan-Chennai market. (Seoul/ Shanghai/ Taipei are too circuitous to transit via Narita.) But still disappointing that they don’t want to compete with SQ/CX/ EK on the US West Coast-MAA market. Could this potentially be a slot availability issue in MAA for an overnight international departure?

      • No, that’s not the reason. Think about airline economics:

        If average airfares from India to the US, across cabins, are less than airfares from Japan to the US—and Japan is closer geographically to the US–how does it make sense to fill your aircraft from India with US connections?

        India-US, even west coast, is now very well served. Nonstop and Gulf flights have taken over in a big way. Europe is much less a factor than before, for US transits, and those Europe-India flights are changing in composition as well by focusing more on Europe-India traffic.

        However in the Europe case corporate O&D schedule preferences align perfectly with TATL connections. Unlike for Northeast Asia.

        ANA is doing the smart thing to focus on what corporate Japan wants. BTW, you see a similar schedule with ANA’s BOM-NRT, JL’s DEL-NRT, and KE’s DEL-ICN flight. Even the MU DEL-PVG has been sort of a hybrid: during the winter the schedule was similar to the the Japan and Korea flights mentioned above, but presently it departs at 02:40.

        The one exception is ANA”s Delhi-Narita service. ANA was the third carrier to operate the route, so they probably wanted to offer something different. But, suppose someday HND opens up for India flights. Then the schedule and connectivity may well change.

        Now, people will rebut that JAL is offering US connectivity with its BLR schedule, but this looks like a very risky move to run a daily flight with a lot of US connections on board. Too many low-yielding passengers! JAL is a conservative airline, and presumably they already fill their planes with local Japanese and some Asia regional connections.

        The BLR-NRT market is probably only ~30,000 RT pax (it’s smaller than BLR-PVG), and there are innumerable connection options via BKK, SIN, KUL, HKG, DEL, BOM to reach Tokyo.

        The ANA strategy looks less risky and more focused on the economic growth story in India, namely with Japanese trade and investment.

        • Girish, great points and I agree with all of them. What perplexes me is whether such a premium aircraft to Chennai can be filled profitably, hence my question about corporate contracts. I guess I am not aware of the size of the MAA- TYO market so I found this configuration perplexing. Then again, it’s only 3x weekly and there are >300 Japanese companies operating in Chennai, so that makes sense that ANA thinks it can fill those seats.
          A few observations:
          1. Now that schedule is up it looks like premium economy and business fares ex-Narita have a mere 10-15% difference. That seems to suggest the PE cabin at least is offered to a price-unconscious traveler (i.e., business traveler).
          2. While we have established why the ex-US West Coast traveler isn’t being targeted, the price still fascinates me. I was looking at ex-SEA/SFO/LAX flight pricing (I’m based in SEA) and they are upwards of 3.5k USD RT…in economy! That’s comparable to a business class fare on some carriers from those same markets, so it is clear they have every intention of carrying ZERO ex-US West Coast passengers with that sort of pricing. I was looking into this as still a viable option due to the possibility of doing 2 day-long layovers in Tokyo but clearly that won’t be happening with such pricing.
          3. Any thoughts on connections on the Chennai side to HYD/ BLR/ PNQ? Obviously, all these connections are better served from DEL due to the strong Star/ AI presence there but if I recall correctly, the initial press release from ANA stated that they hope to increase connectivity from Japan to all of South India. Apart from the fact that International to Domestic transit in MAA is a harrowing experience, I can’t imagine who they would codeshare with here. AI is an obvious contender but their schedules don’t align for quick connections. That said, this goes down the same point about low yielding transit travelers. Maybe this will be a purely O&D route (with a handful of connections from Osaka and other Japanese cities)!

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