Japan has signed an open skies airline agreement with Australia that will allow Australian flights into smaller airports in Japan, as well as further commercial airline connections between the two countries.
The deal allows for unlimited flights between Japan and Australia. Capacity restrictions at Tokyo’s Narita Airport will be lifted from 2013.
"It also makes it possible for Australian airlines to fly beyond Japan to third countries for the first time, including key markets such as China and Europe," Australia’s transport minister Anthony Albanese said.
Australia’s flag carrier Qantas is looking to set up a low-cost partnership in Japan with Japan Airlines and Mitsubishi. The new airline will be called Jetstar Japan and it plans to start operations by the end of 2012. It will serve domestic routes at first but it ultimately aims to expand to short-haul international routes in Asia.
More than one million people fly each year between Australia and Japan, and the number is expected to rise by 25 percent by 2020, according to Australia’s transport minister.
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