Japan & New Zealand Agree to Open Skies Accord for Narita Routes and Assign New Haneda Landing Slots

On February 17, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) announced that Japan and New Zealand had come to an agreement at talks to forge an "open skies" accord liberalizing air transport between the two countries. The agreement will allow the signatories to implement the new policy on routes to Narita Airport and will assign landing slots at Haneda Airport.

Under the accord, the open skies policy will be applied to routes serving Narita Airport starting in the summer of 2013, when its capacity will increase to 270,000 landing slots. The agreement also allows for late-night and early morning landing slots for routes between Haneda Airport and destinations in New Zealand. In addition, the liberalization includes "beyond rights" for air transport originating from Japanese airports outside the Tokyo metropolitan area.

The accord will be implemented for new routes between New Zealand and Haneda Airport by making effective utilization of unused landing slots on other routes during the late-night and early morning hours (11:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m.).