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Asiana plans flights to Tokyo's Ibaraki airport

South Korea's Asiana Airlines plans to launch daily services between Seoul Incheon and Ibaraki, a new airport north-east of Tokyo.

The carrier, which will launch the service from 4 March, will operate Airbus A320 aircraft on the route, says an Asiana spokesman.

Asiana will be the only international carrier serving Ibaraki when it opens next month, catering mostly to domestic services.

"We want to start flights there because Ibaraki is only a 30min drive to downtown Tokyo. It will be more convenient for our passengers," says the spokesman.

Tokyo's main international airport, Narita, is a 90 minute commute away from the city.

Ibaraki was originally a Japanese military air base but is being promoted as a secondary airport for Tokyo besides Narita and Haneda.

A second 2,700m-long runway will be used for flights at Ibaraki when it opens for civil aviation use.

The new commercial airport, which offers lower landing fees compared with Narita and Haneda, is being touted as an option for low-cost carriers.

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