Japan ready to allow NAC use of all airports except Haneda

7th Mar, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, Mar 07: Japan has expressed readiness to provide landing rights to Nepali carriers at all airports except Haneda Airport in Tokyo during discussions over the air service agreement (ASA) between the two countries.

The talks to amend the two-and-a-half-decade-old ASA is part of the NAC's plan to start direct operation in Japan. Nepal Airlines wants to start services to Japan after receiving two long-range Airbus A330 jets due to be delivered by May and June respectively this year.

“We have received the draft MoU from Japan, and we will be sending our comments after holding necessary discussions,” said Suresh Acharya, joint secretary of the MoCTCA. “The draft MoU has specifically clarified that Japan will not be able to grant landing rights at Haneda. It may be due to congestion.”

Haneda Airport, the busiest airport by passenger traffic in Japan, is the fifth busiest airport in the world. It is more desirable because it is just 15 km from Tokyo, compared to 65 km for the second nearest Narita International Airport.

On Sunday, the ministry held discussions with Nepal Airlines Corporation and the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) over the draft before sending its comments. The Japanese side has proposed granting seven weekly flights while Nepal has asked for 14 weekly flights.

The Japanese government also appears to be somewhat rigid on fifth freedom rights, third country code-share accords and air fares.

The draft MoU is a formal basis for negotiations. Normally, after both countries come to an agreement, the formal date for negotiations and signing the deal is confirmed, said Acharya.