Japan Airlines (JAL) has unveiled a sweeping revamp of its
domestic passenger operations that will include the suspension of services on
JAL says in a statement that the revamp represents its biggest
review of domestic passenger operations since 2002. It will include “cutting unprofitable
routes and adjusting supply to demand through flight frequency reductions on
other routes and by adding more flights on popular routes”.
The changes will take place in the next financial year which
begins on 1 April and they come as the airline is working to improve its weak
They also come ahead of major changes that will take place in
the Japanese market in the 2009 fiscal year, when a fourth runway is due to
open at Tokyo’s congested Haneda airport which will enable new competitors to
start serving key routes. Also that year an extension of Tokyo Narita airport’s
second runway is due to be completed.
Last week JAL rival All Nippon Airways unveiled a similar wide-ranging
review of its domestic network ahead of the 2009 market changes.
JAL says route suspensions by its mainline JAL operation as
well as by subsidiaries will include: Nagoya Komaki-Kitakyushu, Nagoya
Chubu-Nagasaki, Osaka Itami-Ishigaki, Kagoshima-Naha, Kobe-Sendai,
Kobe-Kumamoto, Sapporo Chitose-Shinshu Matsumoto, Sapporo Chitose-Misawa,
Fukuoka-Aomori and Fukuoka-Iwate Hanamaki.
Fight reductions will also take place on Nagoya Komaki-Kochi,
Nagoya Chubu-Sapporo Chitose, Nagoya Chubu-Fukuoka, Nagoya Chubu-Kagoshima and
Kobe-Ishigaki will be a new route, while frequency will
increase on Osaka Kansai-Sapporo Chitose, Osaka Kansai-Okinawa Naha, Osaka
Kansai-Fukuoka and Kobe-Sapporo Chitose routes.
“The JAL Group, in preparing for the increase of slots at
Narita and Haneda in FY2009, is taking steps to build a business structure that
generates stable income,” says JAL, which plans to join the Oneworld alliance
in the coming months.
“By examining and reviewing the demand and trend of
individual and group travellers, JAL feels that the new domestic route and
frequency plan improves customer convenience and increases profitability.”
JAL and its subsidiaries currently serve around 165 domestic