Macau, China, 4 July – Air Macau is to start scheduled flights to Japan on July 26, officials said in Macau Tuesday.
Air Macau will run two flights per week to Osaka, on a Thursday and Sunday, but expects to increase that number to three in the short term.
The Macau airline is in negotiations with All Nippon Airways to set up code-sharing agreements between Osaka and other Japanese cities.
In 2006 Air Macau operated 47 charter flights to Tokyo, Osaka, Kita Kyushu, Fukui, Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Fukushima, Toyama and Okinawa.
According to figures from the Macau Statistics and Census Bureau, the number of Japanese tourists that visited Macau increased from 122,000 in 2004 to 220,000 in 2006, which is average growth of 30 percent per year.
In 2006 the Japanese were the fourth largest group of visitors to Macau after mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Air Macau flies to Beijing, Shanghai, Ghendu, Guilin, Kunming, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Changsha, Guiyang, Shenzhen, Haikou, Sanya and Xiamen on mainland China, Taipei, Kaohsiung and Bangkok, Seoul, Pusan and Manila, respectively in Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea and the Philippines.
Air Macau has 13 Airbus passenger aircraft of the A321, A320 and A319 models and 4 cargo aircraft. (macauhub)