Business

Record 13 million passengers use international flights via Kansai airport

Kyodo

The number of passengers on overseas flights through Kansai International Airport is projected to have risen 10 percent this year to a record 13.04 million due to the weaker yen and increase in budget-airline flights, the airport operator said.

The figure will surpass the previous high of 12.65 million logged in 2000.

The number of foreign visitors entering Japan through the airport in Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, is projected to increase 35 percent to 6.28 million, according to New Kansai International Airport Co.

The relaxation of visa requirements has encouraged a sharp rise in tourists from Southeast Asia, it said.

Tourists from China, which had decreased because of chilled relations with Japan over the Senkaku Islands, have also recovered, the company said.

The number of Japanese tourists on international routes through the airport, however, is projected to have fallen 6 percent to 6.49 million as the yen’s depreciation discouraged people traveling overseas for shopping.

Passengers taking connecting international flights at the airport are estimated to have dropped 10 percent to 270,000, while those on domestic flights increased 5 percent to 6.32 million, it said.

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