Gov't to give slots to int'l charter flights at Haneda airport

The transport ministry will give departure and arrival slots to international charter flights at Tokyo's Haneda airport for the first time, ministry officials said Tuesday.

While the ministry plans to increase the airport's departure and arrival slots for international flights by 40 round-trip flights a day from late March, slots have been assigned to 31 regular flights.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism now plans to assign the unfilled quotas to charter flights, the officials said, adding that charter flights from foreign airports that do not have regular flights bound for Haneda are the target.

It wants to allot the unfilled quotas to charter flights "to prompt more foreigners to travel to Japan" via Haneda, a ministry official said.

The ministry had planned to assign the nine slots to regular flights to and from U.S. destinations but talks between the ministry and various airlines over the terms of their use of the slots are experiencing rough going, they said.

If the ministry and the airlines agree to use the quotas for U.S.-bound regular flights by late October when the ministry reviews flight schedules, the allotment of the nine slots to charter flights will be good only through that period the officials added.