MITO, Ibaraki Pref. (Kyodo) Ibaraki Airport marked Friday its first anniversary while struggling to get airlines to use the third airport in the Tokyo metropolitan region.

The number of scheduled flights from the airport, located about 80 km northeast of Tokyo, has increased from one in the beginning to five.

They include three domestic routes by Skymark Airlines linking Ibaraki and Sapporo, Nagoya and Kobe. The remaining two are the Ibaraki-Seoul route by South Korea’s Asiana Airlines and the Ibaraki-Shanghai route by Chinese budget carrier Spring Airlines.

As of February, about 860,000 people used the airport.

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