Narita’s LCC terminal to commence operations in April

WORK on a new terminal for LCCs at Tokyo’s Narita Airport is close to completion and the facility is on schedule to open on April 8.

Three airlines – Jetstar Japan, Vanilla Air and Spring Airlines – will be based in Terminal 3, which will have 24-hour convenience stores and an extensive food court, said airport officials.

On the downside, the new facility is 500m from Terminal 2 and a 15-minute walk from the nearest train station. A shuttle bus will operate between the two terminals.

There are suggestions that the LCCs are not entirely happy with operations at Narita, which is subject to a night-flight curfew because of the proximity of local communities. The new terminal is not exempt.

“This is one of the fundamental problems with Narita and it is more serious for LCCs because they like to operate late at night or early in the morning,” Geoffrey Tudor, an analyst for Japan Aviation Management Research, told TTG Asia e-Daily.

One key local LCC, Peach Aviation, has opted to remain with its present slot in Terminal 1.

Japan’s aviation stakeholders are hoping that the new terminal will serve as an additional gateway for foreign tourists coming to a country that has set a target of attracting 20 million visitors a year by 2020.

“(Foreign) inbound demand is already increasing rapidly, in part because of the fall in the value of the yen against other currencies, and (LCCs are) hoping to take advantage of that,” said Tudor.

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