• Kyodo

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Noto Airport in Ishikawa Prefecture began operations Monday, starting with two daily round-trip flights to Tokyo’s Haneda airport and the prospect of huge losses.

Although the airport, the prefecture’s second, is expected to rack up huge losses, local officials said they hope to woo corporate investment and tourists in a bid to revitalize the economy of the Noto Peninsula.

Construction of the airport with a 2,000-meter runway cost 23.9 billion yen.

Air Nippon, a unit of All Nippon Airways, will operate the flights, which are the first new routes in three years for Haneda airport.

The airline has put a one-year limit on operating one of the flights, and the prefectural government and other entities will provide up to 200 million yen if its annual seat occupancy rate falls below 70 percent.

The airport’s annual maintenance and operating costs are estimated at 270 million yen, while landing-fee revenues are expected to be only about 23 million yen.