The Transport Ministry will allot 202 extra landing and takeoff slots a week for regular flights this winter at Narita airport, starting Oct. 25, ministry officials announced Monday.

The ministry will transfer 84 slots a week being used for special flights and redistribute 78 others used intermittently by some airlines. Although the maximum number of slots at Narita airport has been 360 a day since summer 1991, 40 slots remain free during winter because airlines tend to use fewer slots at that time.

The slot redistribution is expected to help increase the number of slots Japanese carriers have over U.S. carriers, which are given almost the same amount.

Under the new plan, Japanese carriers will be able to run 43 more flights a week from the 86 additional slots granted later this year, compared with the previous winter. U.S. carriers will only be given 18 slots, for nine extra flights, over the same period.

As a result, Japanese carriers will be able to offer 50 more flights through Narita than their American counterparts this winter, starting from October.

Slot distribution for countries is decided in accordance with the rules of the International Air Transport Association and local airport authorities, the officials said.

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