Japan Airlines is continuing to ponder a return to Brisbane as airport officials insisted demand remains for the reintroduction of direct services to Tokyo.
The carrier withdrew from Queensland in late 2010 after more than two decades of services. The suspension was part of a wider restructure at JAL which saw it withdraw from 15 international destinations.
But the carrier always insisted it would seek to reinstate Brisbane to its network once its restructure was complete – possibly using 787 aircraft – and it returned to profitability, which it has now done.
A spokeswoman for Brisbane Airport confirmed officials were in talks with JAL and said a return of direct services had the backing of the Queensland Government and business leaders.
"We are in discussions with Japan Airlines. We cannot confirm anything at this stage but those discussions are on-going," she told Travel Today. "Demand is still there and there is a groundswell of support both from the Government and business community."
She stressed the airline's withdrawal back in 2010 was never about a lack of demand but part of a wider restructure.