Macau, China, 1 Feb – Air Macau said Thursday that this year it would launch scheduled flights to Fukuoka, Okinawa, Nagoya and in 2009 to Hokkaido, in Japan, following the lifting of restrictions imposed by the Japanese authorities.
David Fei, the executive director of Air Macau, also said that the airline would have a daily flight to Osaka as of May and that it would like run a flight to Tokyo in 2010.
Scheduled flights to both the airports of Narita and Haneda in Tokyo remain unauthorized due to their limited capacity.
Fei said that Air Macau planned to lease a further three aircraft in order to meet the demands of the new routes. Air Macau has 13 Airbus passenger aircraft of the A321, A320 and A319 models and 4 cargo aircraft.
Fei also said that Air Macau was negotiating an internal code sharing deal with All Nippon Airways for flights between Japanese cities.
“The faster we manage to obtain new routes the faster we will reduce our dependence on flights to Taiwan,” he said.
Currently most of Air Macau’s passengers are from Taiwan, as they use Macau as a transit point to China, and vice versa.
Over 300,000 Japanese tourists visited Macau in 2007, which was 30 percent more than in 2006.
The announcement of the opening of new routes to Japan follows a document signed between the Macau Civil Aviation Authority and the International Air Transport Division of the Civil Aviation Bureau of Japan’s Ministry for Territory, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism which “opens up the number of Japanese cities to which Macau’s airlines can fly.”
The new agreement does away with capacity limitation and airlines designated by Macau can now operate flights to all Japanese cities with the exception of Tokyo.
As well as regular flights to Osaka, in 2007, Air Macau, Viva Macau and Japanese airlines operated a total of 44 flights between Macau and various Japanese cities, including Tokyo, Nagoya and Fukuoka.
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. (macauhub)