Haneda-Beijing route opens

Kyodo News

The first direct flight linking Tokyo’s Haneda airport and Beijing was made Sunday as Haneda’s fourth international route was inaugurated.

“Between the two countries, 1,300 flights fly annually. By directly linking the capitals, business, tourism and trade relations will develop further,” Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cui Tiankai said in a ceremony at Haneda airport.

Narita airport was given responsibility for all international flights except charters when it opened in 1978. Haneda has used the charter loophole in the last few years to open routes with Seoul, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

This spring, Japan and China agreed that Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways and Air China would operate daily Haneda-Beijing flights using Haneda’s charter flight slots.