• Jiji


The transport ministry will require airlines to submit business improvement plans by late August in anticipation of a recovery in travel demand, which has been devastated by the coronavirus crisis, informed sources said Tuesday.

The step is part of the ministry's efforts to help pandemic-hit airlines maintain their flight routes.

While cutting a total of ¥120 billion in costs that the industry pays partly by reducing airport usage fees, the ministry will oblige airlines to come up with growth strategy plans so that they will not lag behind their rivals in capitalizing on the anticipated recovery in demand for flight services, according to the sources.

A new ministry ordinance was drawn up to mandate the submission of such plans.

The ministry will also ask airlines to pursue carbon neutrality, or reduce carbon dioxide emissions to virtually zero, by introducing fuel-efficient equipment and using alternative fuels, for example.

Carriers will also be asked to report to the ministry every six months on how they are trying to maintain employment, the sources said.

These moves come after the Diet enacted earlier this month the revised aviation law, under which the government compiles basic guidelines on supporting airlines when they face difficulty maintaining their route networks due to a pandemic or other forms of emergency.

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