Macau, China, 21 May – Airlines based in Macau are going to offer scheduled flights to Tokyo from March of 2010, when the Narita International Airport increases its capacity, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Macau (AACM).
Up to now Macau airlines could operate scheduled flights to anywhere in Japan and often as they liked, expect for Tokyo, where airlines have operated charter flights, as Narita and Haneda had reached full capacity.
Negotiations that took place on Monday and Tuesday in Tokyo were aimed at reviewing the previous agreement to include Tokyo, where airlines headquartered in Macau (Air Macau and Viva Macau) could offer three scheduled flights per week.
According to official statistics, the number of Japanese tourists that visited Macau increased from 122,000 in 2004 to 370,000 in 2008, which is average growth of 30 percent per year, increasing Japan’s position to number five on the list of the top countries that send tourists to Macau.
In the first three months of 2009 around 313,000 Japanese tourists visited Macau, which represents a fall of 3.2% against the same period in 2008.
The delegation from Macau involved in the negotiations included representatives from AACM, Air Macau, Viva Macau and CAM – Companhia do Aeroporto de Macau and from Japan representatives were present from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Japan Airlines International, All Nippon Airways and Nippon Cargo Airlines.
Air Macau started scheduled flights to Osaka in July of 2007 and currently operates a daily flight, while Viva Macau started with charter flights to Tokyo in December of 2007 and presently operates two flights per week.