The first new domestic airline in 35 years is expected to get Transport Ministry approval on Tuesday.
An advisory panel on Thursday recommended that Skymark Airlines Co. be given a license for regular service between Tokyo and Fukuoka. Domestic aviation has been dominated by three carriers — All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines and Japan Air System — and rigid regulations have effectively barred new carriers from entering the market.
Recent government deregulation efforts, however, are changing things. In addition to Skymark Airlines, which is an affiliate of discount travel agency H.I.S. Co., Hokkaido International Airlines is also applying for a license to start regular service later this year between Tokyo and Sapporo.
Skymark plans to offer three round-trip flights daily between Tokyo’s Haneda airport and Fukuoka with a 309-seat Boeing 767-300 aircraft, starting Sept. 13. Until the end of March 1999, the fare for a regular one-way flight is planned for 13,700 yen, a drastic 50 percent less than fares for flights by existing airlines during regular travel seasons. Skymark officials said they plan to eventually raise the fair to 16,000 yen.
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