print PRINT

ECONOMY

Japan to support airports, aviation amid pandemic downturn

  • October 29, 2020
  • , The Japan News , 5:33 p.m.
  • English Press

The Yomiuri Shimbun / Few people are seen at Osaka Airport on Tuesday.

A lifeline is being thrown to pandemic-hit airlines and airport operators in the form of a support policy package unveiled Wednesday by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry. The support includes financing airport operators and giving airlines a moratorium, or delay in payment, on airport fees with the aim of strengthening their business base.

 

To support airports, the ministry will hold discussions with private businesses to extend contract periods for the operation of five airports, including those in Takamatsu and Sendai, because the companies cannot ensure a profit under the current conditions. The five airports have been privatized under a concession system, in which the government retains ownership of the airports and sells off the management rights.

 

To help them secure basic funds, airport operators will be allowed to postpone mandatory repairs to buildings, runways and other facilities. The ministry is also considering providing financial support to the Fukuoka and New Chitose airports.

 

The ministry will buy disaster prevention equipment from Kansai Airports, the operator of the Kansai International Airport, based in Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture.

 

In addition, all airport operators will be given a moratorium on fees of about ¥18 billion for their fiscal 2020 use of state-owned properties. Airport operators have been asked in turn to grant a moratorium on rent for restaurants and souvenir shops within airport buildings.

 

Airports around the country have been experiencing a sharp decline in use due to massive cancellations and reductions of flights. Demand for domestic flights is recovering under the government’s Go To Travel tourism support campaign, but the impact of the pandemic is expected to be long-lasting.

 

Regarding support for airlines, the ministry has already decided to waive 45%, or about ¥5.5 billion, of the landing and parking fees for domestic flights for the period from August this year to February next year, and will grant a moratorium on the remaining 55%, as well as for airport fees for international flights. The amount for which the ministry will allow delayed payment is expected to be about ¥48 billion in total.

 

The ministry will also consider setting up beeline flight routes to shorten flight time and reduce fuel costs. It will also make it possible to flexibly establish routes for scenic flights using idle flight capacity.

  • Ambassador
  • Ukraine
  • OPINION POLLS
  • COVID-19
  • Trending Japan