Narita hotels tap into new demand from early morning travelers

Kyodo

Hotels near Narita International Airport are seeing new business opportunities amid the increase in early morning flights operated by low-cost carriers.

Three LCCs — Jetstar, Vanilla Air and Spring Airlines — operate their first flights of the day shortly after 6 a.m. Because catching the first train from Tokyo won’t get them there on time, some passengers on these early flights have been spending the night before their sleeping on benches in the airport’s terminals.

Hotel operators say they are starting to tap this demand for cheap, decent accommodations.

They are now offering 10 to 30 percent discounts for customers who board early morning flights, and take-out breakfasts.

Bus companies are also seeing rising demand for early morning services between central Tokyo and Narita, prompting some operators to offer discounts.

Tomoyoshi Sakuma, 47, head of an association of hotel operators in Narita, said he is betting on LCCs to help boost passenger numbers at the airport.