Japan’s Kansai International Airport, near Osaka, plans to build a low-cost carriers’ (LCC) terminal, in the hope of attracting budget airlines from around the region.
The airport, which has been in the red since it opened for operations in 1994, hopes to reduce its losses with the new terminal. Kansai is currently doing a feasibility study on the new terminal, including discussions with All Nippon Airways (ANA) which is planning to set up a new low-cost subsidiary and could use the terminal as a base once it is operational.
ANA’s new LCC is expected to start operations in the first half of 2011.
Kansai Airport is also in talks with other LCCs, including: Cebu Pacific Air, which is already operating to Osaka from Manila and Cebu; Air Busan from Busan, South Korea; Singapore-based Jetstar Asia Airways; and South Korea’s Eastar Jet, based at Incheon Airport near Seoul.
Jetstar will operate to Osaka via Taipei later this year, while Eastar Jet has expressed interest but has no immediate plans.
The airport is expected to make a decision on the terminal by September. Should plans fall into place, construction will begin early next year, with completion slated for 2013.
Once operational, the LCC terminal will be the first of its kind in Japan.