OSAKA (Kyodo) Sagawa Express Co. is planning to set up a joint venture with Japan Airlines Corp. to operate air parcel delivery services ahead of the privatization of Japan Post, Sagawa officials said Sunday.

Sagawa is aiming to open air cargo routes connecting Tokyo’s Haneda airport with New Chitose, near Sapporo, and Kitakyushu airport in Fukuoka Prefecture around March 2006, they said.

Sagawa will aim for overnight parcel delivery by air instead of later delivery by truck while keeping transportation fees almost unchanged from the current levels, the officials said.

Under the current system, packages usually reach their destination two days after they are sent between the Kanto area and Hokkaido or Kyushu. Extra fees are added for overnight delivery by air.

Sagawa will ask major trading houses to invest in the new company, the officials said.

The government plans to privatize Japan Post starting in 2007, a move that is expected to heighten competition among parcel delivery services.

Sagawa is trying to attract customers by focusing on low-priced, long-distance overnight delivery, they said.

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