Japan and Myanmar have agreed to revise a bilateral aviation accord to allow more than one air carrier from each country to offer flights, the Foreign Ministry said.
Japanese Ambassador to Myanmar Mikio Numata and Tin Naing Tun, director general of the Department of Civil Aviation at Myanmar’s Transport Ministry, signed a protocol to revise the 1972 accord in Yangon, the ministry said Thursday.
The revision will allow more than one airline from each nation to fly between the two countries, making it possible for Japan Airlines to jump into the fray.
At present, only All Nippon Airways flies daily between Narita and Yangon, under the accord.
Myanmar Airways International operates chartered flights between Yangon and some cities in Japan. The revision would allow two other Myanmar carriers to fly to Japan.
“The revision is expected to respond to growing needs for the launch of regular flights, and further promote bilateral exchanges,” the release said.
The revised accord will take effect after the Diet approves it. It has already been endorsed by Myanmar’s Cabinet.
This year will mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Myanmar.
Narita flights climb 6%
The number of departures and arrivals at Narita airport hit a record 221,700 in 2013, up 6 percent from the previous year and the highest since the airport opened in 1978.
Narita International Airport Co. credited the 30 percent jump in domestic flights that resulted from the advent of low-cost carriers for the new record.
The number of people who used the airport in 2013 meanwhile rose to 35,379,400, the second-highest after 2007, the operator said.
The company, however, said the number of flights at the airport in Chiba Prefecture will be reduced by 63 per week starting March 30 as airlines suspend flights in response to the expansion of international departures and arrival slots at Tokyo’s Haneda airport that month.
Makoto Natsume, president of the operator, said Thursday he hopes to expand the airport’s network to include destinations in Southeast Asia and Africa in the future to offset the negative impact of the international slot expansion at Haneda.