Air4casts: Japanese capacity slow to reduce

By Doug Newhouse |

Respected industry data service provider Air4casts says that international arrivals and departure flight capacity at Narita International Airport is not expected to fall more than 14% below the pre-earthquake levels in May, based on airline flight schedules produced on March 1 for the month.

In its most recent analysis chartering April into May, Air4casts has been looking at the airline flight schedule data for both Tokyo and Haneda airports, as it explained: “The hardest Tokyo data available is for Narita’s international arrivals and departures in March: 2.04 million passengers; down on last year, but planned to be down on last year as a part of the Haneda switch.

“The familiar pattern: announced capacity is slow to reduce. Fact: the latest May plans are no more than 14% below pre-earthquake levels. Fact: the reduction this week is 5 percentage points and possibly accelerating slightly.

“Fact: May capacity, as described today, is even a little higher than the latest estimate for April with only days to go before the month end. Conclusion: May capacity is only a part of the story. The devil, as ever is in the detail.”

Meanwhile, looking at Japan as a tourist destination, Air4casts says less Chinese will visit the country in the next three months and it points to other destinations where increases and decreases are expected for this nationality.

“Less of them in the next three months are going to choose Japan as a tourist destination. Capacity from Mainland Chinese for the three months starting May is, unsurprisingly, down 11.7%. The base case is capacity announced at the start of March.

“The media speculation that significant capacity is being added on routes to other destinations is just that; speculation. The three months from May will see South Korea up 3.4%; Thailand up 2.8%; Singapore up 1%; Taiwan down 1.3%

“The USA is a more important destination for Chinese than Thailand and capacity is down by 5.2% over the next three months. There are different factors at work here.”

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