Narita Airport cuts landing fees to increase competitiveness

CHIBA —

Narita Airport has announced that landing fees for airlines are to be reduced from the end of April. The average reduction among all aircraft types at the airport is to be 5.5%. The airport has long been criticized for its comparatively high landing fees.

The largest decrease will be enjoyed by the newest and quietest aircraft. The Boeing 777-200 will be the recipient of the largest rate cut, dropping by around half from 455,000 yen to 214,000 yen per landing, TBS reported.

Under the airport’s current fee system, airlines pay 1,650 yen ($20.60) to 2,100 yen ($26.27) per tonnage according to noise index. Narita has announced those rates will now be reduced by 100 yen ($1.25) for each category.

Apart from a temporary reduction during the 2008 financial crisis, this is the first time the airport has reduced its charges since 2005, according to The Yomiuri Shimbun.

Some analysts are saying the cut is likely to be in response to Tokyo Haneda Airport’s growing stature as an international hub and its increasing ability to compete. Along with a growing reputation for handling international flights, Haneda also has the advantage of being closer to the center of Tokyo.

An ANA spokesperson said that the reduction was “a good move”, but that Narita remained a more expensive airport than others in the region.

Industry analysts are now speculating that ticket prices for consumers may drop in reaction to the announcement.

  • 2

    some14some

    too little but never too late.

  • 0

    sakurala

    Ooh, this is good news! However, Kansai will remain unreasonably expensive.

  • 2

    Wonbatto

    Narita's problems go well beyond high landing fees. The story of Narita is a classic one of land use politics gone awry. Narita's problems also include:

    -- Takeoff/landing curfews in concession to adjacent residential areas that make it uncompetitive compared to other airports in the region.

    -- Poor domestic connections, many of which require a bus ride or complicated train ride to Haneda

    -- Slot limitations due in part to limited runway use - one of the runways was not completed at the intended length due to inability to acquire all land needed. Runway 34R is split in 2 because of this (you can see this on Google Maps: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=nrt&hl=en&ll=35.782763,140.396154&spn=0.00987,0.021136&sll=37.596824,140.581055&sspn=4.934669,10.821533&t=h&hq=nrt&fll=35.782188,140.395617&fspn=0.00987,0.021136&z=16

    -- Poor ground connections to Tokyo and beyond. The Shinkansen was at one point intended to have a spur into Narita, but this was abandoned for various reasons.

    -- Vehement opposition from local residents.

    Haneda currently limits international slots and severely limits overseas flight takeoff/landing to 10pm - 7am. These restrictions will be eased following a new runway construction. Narita is also becoming much less important of a transit point to other Asia destinations since growth in other markets and more efficient aircraft are making nonstop flights from overseas to other regional destinations more viable.

    In short, saving a few hundred yen on a ticket isn't going to reverse Narita's long-term fortunes.

  • 2

    No Miso

    Industry analysts are now speculating that ticket prices for consumers may drop in reaction to the announcement.

    Hahahahhhhaaaaahahahhahahahhhaaa!! I don't think so! That wil lbe many years out when Haneda starts becoming a real threat, right now, it is an inconvenient alternative for international travel (unless you like flying in the middle of the night).

  • 2

    wanderlust

    Neither Narita nor Haneda have much chance of becoming international hubs in Asia. Other than the compulsory facilities of check-in, immigration, customs and baggage pick-up, they have little to offer travelers. A poor selection of duty free-goods and retail outlets; a few restaurants with very limited opening hours, especially from evening to morning; nowhere comfortable to sit or relax between flights and no leisure options; poor connections to Tokyo; inconvenient departure and arrival times at both ends; and few cheap flights where they are positioned as a hub, e.g. Taiwan to New York via Haneda, Manila to London via Narita, there are far more attractive hub options such as Korea and Hong Kong and also cheap direct flights.

  • 2

    bruinfan

    Who really wanted Narita to be the major airport for Kanto in the first place? Somebody's pockets were lined.

  • 1

    Bootsy

    I think this article has confused two separate initiatives from Narita. Other sources report (i) landing fees for all international flights reduced by an average of 5.5% from April (I think this was announced last November and (ii) announced today, tonnage-based landing fees for new international services to be cut in half, starting in April, with the discount to last until March 2016.

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