Link Airs announced (12-Jul-2013) it has applied with Japan MLIT for its air operator’s certificate. The start-up plans to commence operations from spring 2014, operating with two ATR 72-600 aircraft initially on services from Fukuoka and Kitakyushu including five times daily Fukuoka-Miyazaki, three times daily Fukuoka-Matsuyama and twice daily Kitakyushu-Matsuyama services. The carrier expects to take delivery of its third ATR aircraft one month after its inaugural operation, with plans to use the additional aircraft to increase Fukuoka-Miyazaki frequency and launch Kitakyushu-Miyazaki service. [more - original PR - Japanese]
Link Airs applies for AOC, launch in spring 2014 from Kitakyushu and Fukuoka
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The number of Chinese outbound tourists in 2014 will likely exceed 100 million, more than the population of Germany and nearing the population of Japan. Yet this will still account for less than 10% of China's population taking one international trip a year. Importantly too, the growth rate is very high.
These are obviously market-changing opportunities for airlines, especially in North Asia, where most Chinese travel to when going abroad. But in the short term the opportunities are mixed for countries as overseas Chinese tourists shift destination preferences.
This first of a two-part report looks at Chinese demand for travel to Northeast Asia, where growth is generally positive. Japan experienced challenges in late 2012 and early 2013 as political tensions saw visitor arrivals dramatically fall; Japan has since rebounded. South Korea was a beneficiary and continues to maintain momentum; Chinese visitor arrivals are up 57% in the first five months of 2014.
The second part of this China tourism report will look at Southeast Asia, where tourism figures have recently softened.