August 14, 2008

Japan, South Korea Agree New Regular Flights

Text of report in English by Japan's largest news agency Kyodo

Tokyo, Aug. 14 Kyodo - Japan and South Korea have agreed to let their countries' airlines operate six regular, daytime flights per day between Tokyo's Haneda airport and Gimpo airport in Seoul after the expansion project at the Japanese airport is completed in 2010, the transport ministry said Thursday.

This is the first time specifics have been decided on the new international landing and takeoff slots to operate during the day following the expansion of Haneda.

Haneda is now used mainly for domestic flight services. But the opening of a fourth runway, which is now under construction, will add about 110,000 daytime slots a year, 30,000 of which will be dedicated to regular overseas flights.

At present, a total of eight chartered flights are allowed between Haneda and Gimpo airports each day.

The agreement was reached during talks held between the two countries' aviation officials in Tokyo, which ended Wednesday.

The accord is in line with the goal of Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to work out by the end of this year of allocating domestic and foreign airlines to 60,000 international slots at Haneda, including late night and early morning operations.

Japan and South Korea have been trying to boost bilateral air traffic for some time. But the endeavour excluded Narita and Haneda airports in the Tokyo metropolitan area on the grounds that their departure and arrival slots are already full.

In late July, Japan and Malaysia struck a similar aviation deal for flights between late night and early morning.

Originally published by Kyodo News Service, Tokyo, in English 0922 14 Aug 08.

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