SAGA – The Saga Prefectural Government on Monday will begin paying a portion of excess baggage fees on Chinese budget carrier Spring Airlines’ flights to Shanghai and Shenzhen in a bid to spur local purchases by tourists from China.
The aim is to prompt Chinese tourists to buy more items during their stay by not worrying about the extra cost of overweight baggage. The prefecture hopes the measure will rejuvenate the local economy.
Currently passengers on Spring Airlines flights from Saga to Shanghai are allowed up to 15 kg (33 pounds) of baggage, including carry-on bags, at no additional cost. However, for every 1 kg over the 15-kg limit, ¥1,000 is charged.
Under the subsidy program, passengers on the budget carrier’s flights from Saga will be allowed up to 25 kg of baggage, with the prefecture and the Chinese airline splitting the additional charge.
The prefectural government set aside about ¥21 million this year in an extra budget to spend on increasing the number of tourists to the prefecture.
Chinese tourists often pick up consumer electronics products such as air purifiers and rice cookers during trips here. But many also tend to keep their purchases within the weight limit for baggage on their return flights.
Spring Airlines connects Saga and Shanghai three times a week. Beginning Monday, the flights to Shanghai will be extended to Shenzhen in southern Guangdong province.