In a bid to attract more flights to Tokyo's Narita, the airport's operator is waiving landing fees for airlines looking to open up new regularly scheduled long-haul passenger flights.
The waiver - announced in late November - will apply to any new long-haul flight covering a distance of over 7000 kilometers from Narita started between January 2020 to March 2022. In addition, it will apply for a route going to a new destination that currently doesn't have service to Narita.
The offer comes as major foreign and local airlines have announced new flights out of Haneda - located closer to Tokyo city center after the Japanese government opened up new flight slots at the airport. Several airlines including United, Delta, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan Airlines (JAL), and SAS have announced a shift of flights from Narita to Haneda and/or new flights out of Haneda.
Since the opening of international flight slots as Haneda in 2010 - which had been primarily serving as Tokyo's main domestic hub prior - airlines have seen Haneda as a preferred airport for serving the Tokyo area with a location 20 kilometers south of Tokyo. This distance is closer compared to the 60 kilometers from Tokyo to Narita which can take 1-2 to get to by train or bus from the city.
With the growth of international routes and airlines serving Haneda, Narita is seen in competition with its local counterpart as the premier hub for Tokyo. Both airports have been making improvements in recent years to adapt to the growing air travel demands to Tokyo and Japan even as Japan's govenrment looks to implement the dual-hub system for the city.
Narita Airport recently extended its hours of operations during the night and plans have been made for a third runway. The airport also saw the opening of Terminal 3 for budget airlines in April of 2015.
As Narita looks to keep up with Haneda, Haneda will open up Terminal 2 - primarily used for ANA domestic flights - for international flights in March. Also, the agreement between the US and Japan which opened up more flight slots at Haneda also made more airspace around Tokyo - previously for military use - for commercial air traffic.