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With the opening of the new Kobe airport Thursday, air carriers are set to wage a battle against railways, especially for business travelers, between Tokyo and Kobe.

The new airport, the third in the Kansai region after Itami and Kansai International, is on a man-made island off Kobe, easily accessible from the center of the city — as fast as 16 minutes by Kobe Portliner trains.

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