• Kyodo News

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Travel agencies are stepping up sales of overseas trips departing from Tokyo’s Haneda airport ahead of the launch of regular international flights Oct. 31, with JTB Corp. recently releasing package tours to 22 cities from October to January.

Taking advantage of Haneda’s easy connections to domestic destinations, JTB’s tours to the U.S. West Coast will allow customers to fly between Haneda and other domestic airports for ¥1,000 per round trip.

By promoting sales of such tours and travel plans using other airports, JTB said it aims to boost the number of overseas tour sales in the October-March second half of this business year by 7 percent from a year earlier to 703,000 travelers.

Other travel companies are also increasing their lineup of trips departing from Haneda, which has better access to local transportation than Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture, although tours from Haneda are more expensive.

“We can draw demand for travel after work as many international flights (at Haneda) depart late at night,” an official of Nippon Travel Agency Co. said.

Nippon Travel plans to launch tours to Taiwan and the Indonesian island of Bali from Haneda in the second half of the current fiscal year.

KNT Co., which will start sales of tours to Hawaii and France from Haneda next Tuesday, aims to increase sales of its overseas trips by 11 percent to 216,000 travelers in the second half of the business year, company officials said.

Hankyu Travel International Co. plans to launch tours to Cambodia and other foreign destinations from the airport.

International traffic at Haneda is currently limited to short-distance chartered services to and from South Korea and China.

Following the expansion, regular flights will connect the Tokyo airport with South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan during the day and with Southeast Asia, the United States, Canada and European cities in the early morning and late evening.

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