Etihad Airways has been awarded rights to start a five-flights-a-week service from its Abu Dhabi home base to Tokyo from March 2010.
The decision follows bilateral talks which took place in the Japanese capital during the past week between UAE and Japanese government and aviation officials, as well as Etihad Airways representatives.
In line with gaining flying rights to Narita airport in Tokyo, Etihad also has the option to start flights to the regions of Kansai and Chubu.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “Etihad is thrilled to have been awarded these flying rights to link the capitals of the UAE and Japan from 2010.
“It will be the airline’s first entry into the Japanese market and provides a great opportunity to build upon commercial and cultural ties between the two countries.”
The addition of Tokyo on Etihad’s flying programme would bring to six the number of destinations served by Etihad in the Far East, which currently includes Beijing, Manila, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.