Skymark Airlines plans to double the scale of its operations by 2005, company officials said Wednesday.
The budget airline hopes to achieve its target by making use of the maximum of 12 slots at Tokyo’s Haneda airport it expects to be allotted by the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry, the officials said.
Skymark will include the measures in a report to be drawn up in early June, the officials said.
The carrier is expecting to receive slots given up by Japan Airlines and Japan Air System. The transport ministry has said it plans to allot the slots primarily to newcomers.
JAL and JAS returned 10 slots at Haneda in order to obtain approval by the Fair Trade Commission for their plan to integrate their operations in October.
After JAL and JAS integrate under a joint holding company, that alliance and All Nippon Airways will be the two main competitors in the domestic civil aviation market. The transport ministry is considering increasing support for smaller airlines to help them compete.
Skymark plans to hand another startup airline three slots it has for flights between Tokyo and Kagoshima. In return, Skymark will receive three new slots from the ministry, the officials said.
As for the nine other slots, the airline plans to increase its existing flights between Tokyo and Fukuoka, and between Tokyo and Kagoshima. It will also consider launching international flights and flights between Tokyo and Osaka, the officials said.
Skymark will eventually increase the number of planes it operates to around six or seven from three, they said.
The company will have no financial difficulty leasing the jets because rates have fallen in line with a drop in demand since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, the officials said.
Skymark’s parent firm, H.I.S. Co., will cooperate to increase Skymark’s capital, a H.I.S. official said, adding overseas investors have also shown interest.
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