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Japan Agrees to Open Skies Accord with 3 Scandinavian Countries in Civil Aviation Negotiations

Japan Agrees to Open Skies Accord with 3 Scandinavian Countries in Civil Aviation Negotiations

A Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) airplane.

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Japan and the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Denmark and Norway agreed on October 12 to an open skies accord during talks between their aviation bureaus. They also will liberalize codesharing between their airlines.

The agreement will, in principal, allow the signatories' airlines the freedom to assign routes and flight volume serving airports covered by the accord. It will come into effect at the end of March 2013, when Narita International Airport will increase the number of annual landing slots to 270,000. The accord came into immediate effect at Kansai International, Chubu International and other airports outside the Tokyo area.

Routes to Haneda are exempt from the open skies accord, but in spring 2014 the airport will arrange for landing slots during the daytime hours for long-haul flights to Europe and elsewhere. Some of these new slots may be allotted to Scandinavian countries following future negotiations.

The agreement includes measures such as liberalizing the codeshare framework to offer the signatories' airlines greater flexibility in their operations.

The addition of Sweden, Denmark and Norway brings to 22 the number of countries and regions with which Japan has forged an open skies accord.

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