Japan is an attractive market, serving up luxurious travel experiences in the skies and on the ground.

Destination Appeal

Kyoto has been enjoying a boom in tourism, with luxury hotels vying to serve the needs of international travelers in what has been described as a mini-“hotel war.”

This Spring Festival, many Chinese vacationers rushed to Japan’s ski resorts and hotels and Japanese department stores reported four-fold increases in sales during the holiday. The weaker Japanese Yen also makes Japan an attractive destination for US tourists.

Setting a High-Bar for Comfort and Service

All Nippon Airways (ANA) announced an order for seven A321 aircraft, adding to a firm order for 30 A320neos, which it placed in July of last year. The airline also introduced new travel classes and in-flight services to Southwest Asia, and offers passengers “Tastes of Japan,” a sampling of the country’s varied regional flavors.

Japan Airlines gives passengers plenty of room with its Business class SKY Suite and removed seats to make more room on its Dreamliner Aircraft. JAL expanded its SKY Wi-Fi, powered by Gogo, on aircraft flying routes to Asia, America and Europe. It also added new IFE content to its Thales AVANT IFEC systems, including popular SKY MANGA digital books.

Japanese budget carrier Skymark provides roomy attractive cabins, designed by LIFT Strategic Design, Tokyo, with recliner seating and quality service. The airline recently filed for bankruptcy after what some analysts label “reckless expansion,” but selling some of its Haneda slots could help the troubled airline raise capital and ANA has offered Skymark support “to contribute to the healthy aviation of a domestic airline industry.”

Competing for Haneda  

Tokyo Haneda International Airport expects annual passenger traffic of 73.4 million by March from 62 million domestic and 11.4 million international flights served.

American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines have accused Delta of under-utilizing its Haneda slots and both committed to offering year round service in appeals to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). “Gaining access to Haneda heads the list of American’s top international priorities,” American Airlines’ chief marketing officer Andrew Nocella said in testimony to the USDOT.

“This route would provide unmatched public benefit by improving US exports, boosting spending and economic growth within the United States and increasing US jobs,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines to investors.

While Delta Air Lines flies a limited winter service, it claims to have “firm plans” in place for the slots.

Marisa Garcia was once locked in a hangar in Oberpfaffenhofen while fine-tuning Gandalf’s new seats. Seriously. The firemen got her out. Writing is less confining, but she has lovely memories of those hands-on days.