BENGALURU: An announcement by Japan Airlines on Wednesday, that they would start a direct flight from Bengaluru to Tokyo (Narita) from summer of next year, has caught the attention of the sizeable Japanese community who number around 1,300 in the city who will now be able to fly non-stop when they visit home.
The around 12-hour direct flight, will mean that visitors to Japan will no longer have to break their journey in New Delhi or in other hubs like Bangkok or Colombo. “The layover period for some of the flights which go through Thailand or Sri Lanka is more than 6 hours and this was a major irritant while flying home. A direct flight was required for some time now and I am glad this will be introduced soon,” said Hyato Kawai, an engineer from the city.
For many more, it will mean more frequent visits back home. “I used to go back home for visits once in 2 years earlier, if there is a direct flight that can take me to Tokyo in 12 hours, I can look at multiple visits a year,” said Masato, a sales professional working in the city for a Japanese engineering firm.
The number of Japanese nationals in the city is the second highest after Delhi and Gurugram with over 509 companies present in the state. There are also several regular visitors to Bengaluru from Japan. An active consulate of Japan in Bengaluru organizes several events like the Japan Habba, food festival, Cosplay walk and others to introduce locals to Japanese culture as well as to give expats a touch of home. The state also has many ties with Japan and businessmen from the city are also enthused about the direct flight.
“It will help save a lot of time for travel and will definitely help increase ties between Karnataka and Japan. Currently travel is long and involved too much waiting in between flights,” said Vijayakumar, a software professional in the city who often visits Japan for meetings. In 2018, more than 13,000 visas to Japan were issued for applicants from Bengaluru.