AGAINST the backdrop of Peach Aviation, AirAsia Japan and Jetstar Japan launching flights this year, Tokyo’s Ibaraki Airport is eyeing a slice of the aviation pie.
According to Kazunori Katsutani, director of Airport Promotion from Ibaraki Prefectural Government, the airport is tring to convince Jin Air, Air Busan, T-way Airlines and Eastar Airlines from South Korea, as well as Cebu Pacific Air and AirPhil Express from the Philippines of its value proposition, and is “prepared to offer assistance to interested low-cost carriers”.
Ibaraki Airport is located 80km northeast of central Tokyo and is accessible via a limousine bus service, which costs 500 Japanese Yen (US$6.40) for a one-way trip. The area within a 100km radius of the airport boasts a catchment population of 19.8 million.
Besides having slots for most parts of the day except 12:30-13:30 hrs, the airport is able to offer savings for airlines through landing charges which are lower than those at Narita and Haneda Airports. Its single-storey terminal has complimentary parking facilities for up to 1,300 vehicles.
Airlines with existing operations at Ibaraki Airport include China’s Spring Airlines and Japan’s Skymark Airlines. Asiana Airlines’ service from Seoul is temporarily suspended due to last year’s earthquake and tsunami.