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Kansai airport luring budget carriers

Kyodo

New Kansai International Airport Co. President Keiichi Ando says his firm is sounding out foreign low-cost carriers, including China’s Spring Airlines and Singapore Airlines’ Scoot, about flying out of Osaka.

In a recent interview, Ando said the company is also thinking of recruiting Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air.

Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Ando said he plans to soon revive services between the airport and London and Los Angeles, which were in operation until 2009, and increase flights to Europe and the United States.

Kansai International currently has no route to Britain and fewer flights to and from the U.S. than Narita International Airport or Haneda airport in Tokyo.

With Japan’s traditional cuisine being added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list, the number of foreign tourists to Kyoto and other cities is expected to rise.

Therefore, the airport will increase flights to and from Europe and the United States while luring budget airlines to attract more tourists from overseas.

Ando also said the airport plans to secure a spacious site for an LCC terminal building to open in fiscal 2016 so it can expand enough to handle a rise in budget carriers at the airport in the future.