ANA midnight flights popular choice during summer season
All Nippon Airlines (ANA) midnight flights between Haneda and Naha during the summer season have proven to be very popular among travelers.
Called “Galaxy Flights,” ANA has had these flights on its schedule since 2014 six days a week from mid July through the end of August.
During 2014, 16,000 people took the Galaxy Flight, and its seat occupancy rate was 82%. In 2015, 27,300 people took the flight with the seat occupancy rate rising to 87%. According to an ANA spokesman, signs are that this year the number of passengers and the seat occupancy rate would be at least on the same level as in 2015.
The demand for flights to and from Okinawa is high, however, the carriers can’t add flights because Naha Airport operates at its capacity. ANA has tried to meet the demand by converting some of its cargo aircraft to passenger planes.
For the midnight flights, which arrive at Naha when no public mass transportation is available, the company has prepared taxis and hotels where tourists can check in very early in the morning like 2 a.m. The ticket price on the Galaxy Flights is about one-third of the regular fare, which is also one of the attractive points for tourists. The discount fares exclude the Obon season.
A midnight flight that leaves Haneda in Tokyo at 22:55 and arrives at Naha at 01:40 is popular among young office workers who want to visit Okinawa coming straight from work. And if tourists take the flight that leaves Naha at 03:30 arriving at Haneda at 05:50, they can stay on Okinawa until midnight, and go to the office straight from the airport.