• Bloomberg


Mori Building City Air Services Co., which runs a helicopter service between downtown Tokyo and Narita airport, may add a third chopper now that tieups with airlines have boosted traffic.

The unit of Mori Building Co., Japan’s biggest closely held developer, may add an eight-seat helicopter to its two existing four-seaters, Koichi Ueno, a managing director, said Wednesday in Tokyo, without giving a time frame. The helicopter service pares travel times from downtown Tokyo to Narita to about 30 minutes, he said.

Mori has doubled monthly passenger numbers since starting flights in September after American Airlines, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Alitalia SpA and Japan Airlines Corp. joined All Nippon Airways Co. in offering the service to business and first-class passengers. East Japan Railway Co.’s Narita Express train takes about an hour to make the approximately 80-km trip from Tokyo Station to the nation’s busiest international airport.

“We’re getting a lot of repeaters on our service,” Ueno said. “Narita is a long way from central Tokyo and the trip used to take a lot of time.”

Narita, which handled 32 million passengers last year, is improving connections as Tokyo’s other airport, Haneda, expands capacity with the opening of a new runway in October.

Keisei Electric Railway Co. added a faster train link to Narita airport last week, reducing the trip to Nippori on the loop line of Tokyo’s city-rail system to as little as 36 minutes. Trains from Haneda reach the loop line in as little as 16 minutes.

Mori Building City Air flies passengers to Sakura airport, near Narita, from Ark Hills Heliport in downtown Tokyo. After the 15-minute helicopter flight, passengers take a 15-minute limousine ride to Narita, according to the company’s Web site.

A one-way ticket costs ¥45,000. Some airlines offer free rides to some business-class and first-class customers. Passenger numbers have climbed to as many as 300 a month from around 150 when the service started, Ueno said.

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