LCC rivals cause Skymark to pare routes from Kansai

JIJI

Skymark Airlines said Friday it will probably close two domestic routes out of Kansai International Airport near Osaka at the end of March because of growing competition from no-frills carriers.

One of the two routes links Kansai with Naha Airport in Okinawa, while the other links it with New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido. Skymark conducts three roundtrip flights a day on each of the routes.

Skymark launched the routes in March to compete against a new generation of low-cost carriers, including Peach Aviation, but occupancy has been low, company officials said.

The airline is considering launching services to Naha and Ishigaki Airport on Ishigaki Island farther southwest in Okinawa as early as spring.