International traffic to Japan down 16% from 2007 levels; but airlines queuing up to access Tokyo Haneda this winter

Japanese traffic is down

All because of a boat. Japanese traffic is down this summer and it can be expected that international traffic continues to fall as reports on the recent political tension between Japan and China suggest that more than 11,000 passengers have cancelled their JAL and ANA tickets to China. The dispute involves Senkaku Islands, where this Chinese fishing boat was caught by the Japan Coast Guard.

Latest traffic data from Japan’s two dominant carriers (ANA and JAL) and the Japanese Ministry for Land, Infrastructure, Tourism and Transport shows that domestic and international passenger numbers were down in both July and August. The apparent surge in international demand previously this year can be explained by examining data for the same period in 2009 when demand fell by more than 15% in both May and June. If compared with data for 2008, international traffic in June was still down 13%, the same as in April and slightly worse than May (-11%). In the second half of 2010, it now becomes necessary to go back three years (2007) to find data that can be considered pre-economic recession.

Source: ANA, JAL, MLIT

Source: ANA, JAL, MLIT

Looking at each month in 2010 and comparing demand with 2007 reveals that international traffic on ANA and JAL is down between 12% and 19% with no sign of improvement (the latest data for August is down 18% versus 2007). Domestic demand in 2010 is down between 9% and 15% compared with 2007.

While JAL’s international passenger numbers were down 7.5% (to 6.71 million) in the first eight months of 2010, ANA has seen demand for its international services grow by 21.7% (to 3.42 million passengers). Despite JAL’s on-going restructuring and planned cutbacks, it will be a long time before ANA carries more international passengers than its local rival.

It was recently announced that ANA would be joining Hong Kong-based First Eastern Investment Group in a joint venture to create a new low-cost carrier. Mango Aviation Partners, a UK-based consultancy set up by former managers at Go (the former UK LCC set-up by British Airways which operated between 1998 and 2002), will provide expertise for the new airline which is expected to operate both domestic and international services from the (not very low-cost) Osaka Kansai airport, built on a man-made island in Osaka Bay.

Haneda update

From the start of the winter season, several carriers will begin new international services to Tokyo’s more convenient Haneda airport. Last winter, the only international markets that were served non-stop from Haneda were China (Beijing and Shanghai), Hong Kong, and Korea (Seoul). A summary of the already announced new services is provided in the following table.

Country Airline Destination Start date
Canada Air Canada Vancouver (YVR) 30 January 2011
France JAL Paris CDG (CDG) 31 October 2010
Hong Kong Cathay Pacific Hong Kong (HKG) 31 October 2010
Malaysia AirAsia X
Malaysian Airlines
Malaysian Airlines
Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
Kota Kinabalu (BKI)
Kuching (KCH)
9 December 2010
15 November 2010
17 January 2011
Singapore ANA
JAL
Singapore Airlines
Singapore (SIN)
Singapore (SIN)
Singapore (SIN)
31 October 2010
31 October 2010
31 October 2010
Taiwan ANA
China Airlines
EVA Air
JAL
Taipei (TSA)
Taipei (TSA)
Taipei (TSA)
Taipei (TSA)
31 October 2010
31 October 2010
31 October 2010
31 October 2010
Thailand ANA
JAL
Thai Airways
Bangkok (BKK)
Bangkok (BKK)
Bangkok (BKK)
31 October 2010
31 October 2010
31 October 2010
United Kingdom British Airways London Heathrow (LHR) 20 February 2011
USA American
ANA
Delta
Delta
Hawaiian
JAL
JAL
New York (JFK)
Honolulu (HNL)
Detroit (DTW)
Los Angeles (LAX)
Honolulu (HNL)
Honolulu (HNL)
San Francisco (SFO)
20 January 2011
31 October 2010
30 January 2011
31 January 2011
19 November 2010
31 October 2010
31 October 2010
Source: anna.aero new route database

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Comments

  1. Steve says:

    I am not suprised the demand is growing for Haneda, Narita is a joke, it takes so long to get into Tokyo with even more added cost. A few weeks ago I had to go to Mito about 80-90 minute drive north of Narita, but as I couldnt drive due to injury I had to spend time buying a train ticket, that took me into Tokyo central, then a local train to another station to catch a so called bullet train. All in all the best part of 3hrs plus at a price that was more than than the ticket from Taiwan.

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