Kansai Airport set for record-breaking year

The Japanese airport, in operation since 1994, is in the midst of an exciting growth period. Last year, Kansai International Airport handled 23,214,756 passengers, a 20 percent increase. International passengers were up by 24 percent.

Kansai International Airport has plenty to shout about. The airport has recorded record traffic numbers for the first half of 2016 with 12.8 million passengers recorded – an increase of more than 800,000 passengers.

New records were achieved in the summer season with an average increase of 75 flights a week compared to 2015. With this seven percent increase, the airport offered 1,109 flights a week. Another record was broken in August when the airport saw 12 percent growth on the number of passengers on international flights, rising to 59,600 passengers during the 12 days of summer holiday. The previous record had been set the year before. For the month of August, international passenger numbers were up 10 percent.

Their winter schedule is set to boost passenger figures even further. An additional 32 new weekly international flights will be available, with 1,131 passenger flights a week – a record number and 57 more services than in 2015.

Air New Zealand have re-opened their connection to Auckland, which will operate three times a week. This further boosts the international long-haul network at the airport as links to Los Angeles and Vancouver opened last year.

Short-haul routes are still on the radar for the winter season, with an additional eleven services to China. China Eastern will serve Beijing from Kansai, China Southern will link to Shanghai and Shanghai Juneyao Airlines will offer a connection to Nanjin. The winter schedule will also see the first launch of a China service by a Japanese low-cost carrier, with Peach flying to Shanghai five times a week. The airport serves as a hub for Peach, Japan's first international low-cost carrier. 

This week Asiana Airlines has increased service from Kansai International Airport to their hub Seoul-Incheon. The frequency of this service has now risen from 21 weekly flights to 28, on a two class Airbus 321-200.

A new service to South Korea will be offered by Air Busan. From December 23, a daily service between Kansai and Daegu will be available, utilising Airbus 321 equipment.

South-east Asia will become more accessible this winter with an additional eleven services to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and this year’s Routes Asia host Manila.

The regional Routes Asia forum will take place in Japan in 2017 for the first time. Hosting duties will be undertaken by Okinawa. Okinawa consists of 160 islands (49 of which are inhabited) and it is the southernmost prefecture of Japan. 

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