Sendai-Osaka route eyed by new airline

Fair Inc. applied Friday for a license to provide domestic flights between Sendai and Osaka by early August using 50-seat jets.

If the request is approved by the Transport Ministry, Fair will be the third new carrier in Japan since airline industry deregulation in the late 1990s led to the debut of Skymark Airlines Co. and Hokkaido International Airlines Co., known as Air Do.

In September 1998, Skymark capitalized on the industry deregulation to become the first airline to break into Japan’s domestic air service in 35 years.

Fair said it plans to run three round-trip flights daily between Sendai and Kansai International Airport, starting Aug. 7.

Under a contract with All Nippon Airways Co., Fair will obtain five of the nine pilots initially needed for its Sendai-Osaka flights from ANA and also consign its ticket sales operations to the company, Fair said.

Aircraft maintenance will be carried out by a maintenance firm, Fair said.

The company was established by Junichi Okawara, former president of Skymark, and others in January 1999 with capitalization of 1.06 billion yen.

The company said it plans to raise its capitalization by 1 billion yen as early as next month and extend its service. to routes between Tokyo’s Haneda airport and Hiroshima and between Sendai and Hiroshima by 2002 with four small jets.