Osaka is Japan is being returned to British Airways global network from Heathrow for next summer.

BA last flew to Osaka up until October 1998 with the resumption coming ahead of the airline marking 70 years of flying to Tokyo in November.

Four flights a week have been scheduled to operate from Heathrow Terminal 5 to Osaka’s Kansai international airport from March 31.

The new route takes the number of daily flights between London and Japan as part of BA’s joint business with Japan Airlines up to 32 a week.

Jal will also offer a code share on the new service, further strengthening the joint business.

Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft will be deployed on the route, with special return fares starting at £599 in economy for bookings made until October 9 for travel between May 7 and September 9, 2019.

BA network and alliances director Sean Doyle said: “Our partners Japan Airlines and Finnair have demonstrated that Osaka is a hugely popular route with leisure and business travellers alike, so we are excited to launch direct flights from London, giving customers another gateway.

“Japan is a highly sought-after destination for British tourists and many of the country’s key attractions are within easy reach of Osaka.

“This new route will also open up more opportunities for companies to explore and build business in the region so we’re expecting this new service to be well received by our customers.”

Jal international relations and alliances executive officer, Hideki Oshima, added: “We are extremely excited with the announcement of British Airways’ new route.

“Not only does it provide more choices and greater convenience for our passengers traveling between Japan and Europe, but it is also great news for the Kansai region.

“We look forward to serving our mutual customers through our codeshare service and contributing to the regional economy in Osaka.”

MoreBA flies Prince William on wildlife conservation mission

Comment: BA is in trouble

BA faces multi-million pound lawsuit on top of possible data breach fine