ANA launches flights from Sapporo to Akita; reconnects Tokyo Haneda and Ishigaki
ANA, which last week joined the five-star airline Skytrax club, inaugurated services on two domestic routes in Japan on 31 March. The carrier now operates flights on the 400-kilometre route from Sapporo Chitose (CTS) to Akita (AXT) in the Tohoku region of Honshu, the largest of Japan's islands. Twice-daily flights are operated on the route using Q400s and ANA faces competition from JAL's thrice-daily departures. In addition, the airline returned to the market from Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Ishigaki (ISG) in the Okinawa prefecture, which it last served in October 2006. Departures on the 1,900-kilometre routing are offered with daily frequency and operated using 767-300s. Competition on the route comes from the Okinawa-based Japan Transocean Air, which offers twice-daily flights from Ishigaki to Tokyo Haneda.