Haneda opening to reshape Japan business

By Administrator |

The opening of the new 24-hour international terminal at Tokyo Haneda Airport in October 2010 will signal Tokyo's biggest airports' shake up – both in international air services and its duty free airports' shop business

– as 30,000 new international slots for regional short-haul international flights open, compared with just 4,000 today and Haneda's flight handling capacity increases by 40%.

At the same time TREND can exclusively report that Jatco has now been appointed to operate the largest duty free shops on the third floor of Haneda's new terminal, although it may not be the only duty free operator when the terminal finally opens.

Tokyo Haneda is already the world?s fourth busiest airport, having handled 66.9m passengers in FY 2007, including over 700,000 international passengers. But this number is expected to spiral once Haneda's fourth runway opens in 2010, alongside the new five- storey, 159,000sq m international terminal.

Regional short haul international flights, as currently restricted to Seoul, Shanghai and Hong Kong will benefit, but many other services are also being opened up, as Hideki Hayashi, Duty Free Business Division Director at Japan Airport Terminal Co Ltd explained exclusively to TREND: ?The Japanese government still is negotiating with other countries over flights. It?s a political matter,? Hayashi said. ?The current situation is that daytime flights from Haneda to Seoul and Hong Kong have been confirmed. The Japanese government has also discussed with China and Taiwan for new flight services in future.

?Late night and early morning flights are confirmed to Seoul, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Canada. These city and country agreements are through bilateral negotiations and include cargo flights. These are aviation negotiations. They have not fixed any airlines. That will come later.?

Although duty free sales are expected to grow at the new terminal as international flights and passenger numbers increase, a substantial part of the passenger growth at Haneda will result from flight services moving to Haneda from Narita airport. This will obviously impact upon duty free sales at Narita Airport, as the very important flights carrying the high spending Asian passengers will also transfer to Haneda.

Although Jatco?s major duty free operations are currently at Tokyo Narita airport and it also has interests in New Kansai in Osaka, the company operates just seven small duty free outlets at Haneda Airport today and these will be closed when the new Tokyo International Air Terminal Corporation (TIAT) begins operating its new 30-year contract to operate the new terminal next year. Jatco is TIAT?s largest shareholder with a 34% stake, followed by JAL and ANA with 17% shareholdings each. Tokyo Narita International Airport Corporation also holds a 9% interest in the new terminal.

Hideki Hayashi said: ‘TIAT itself will own duty free shops in the new TIAT terminal and has asked Jatco to operate them. We do not know if there will be other operators, but there is still time as the new international terminal will open in October 2010. TIAT may ask other companies to open shops, but basically they have asked Jatco to operate the big and important shops. Details are to be officially announced this year, but we are not sure of the timing.?

The departure area, including a large airside duty free shopping mall, will be located on the third floor, one floor above the second floor arrival area. Passenger transport facilities will be accessible from the first floor of the new international terminal, while the fourth and fifth floor areas will be allocated for commercial and services facilities, including airline lounges, F&B outlets and landside duty paid shops.

TIAT has still to finalise plans for the departure duty free shopping area and the overall shopping area size – along with individual shop and boutique dimensions – have not yet been decided.

Basic details on the planned flow through the terminal will see passengers emerge from passport control into an airside departure hallway featuring large shopping areas on both sides and ahead of them. Additional shops will be located along the departure gate corridor running along the front of the terminal where aircraft are parked at the allocated flight gates.

?There will be one big duty free shop and several medium size shops. Also, there will be many small duty free shops and boutiques,? Hayashi said. ?The boutique brands are not officially decided. Jatco operates fashion boutiques at Narita. They should operate at Haneda as well. We expect several new fashion brands to come in, but we cannot say which ones yet.?

According to TIAT, the new international terminal will have 10 flight gates initially including one designed for A380 aircraft. A second gate will be designed for future conversion, if needed, for use by large A380 aircraft.

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