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COVID-19 aviation impact threatens Japan’s 2020 tourism ambitions

The Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak has decimated many Asian airline markets, but for Japan the timing of the demand plunge is particularly unfortunate. This is supposed to be a big year for the Japanese aviation and tourism sectors, as they have planned for a significant surge in visitor traffic.

The government has made tourist growth an economic priority, and has backed this up with an expansion of Tokyo airport capacity this year to coincide with the summer Olympics coming to the city.

However, the ambitious plans of the government and airlines for 2020 are now under threat from the coronavirus crisis.

Plummeting demand and travel restrictions have caused Japanese airlines to cut back capacity in some key Asian markets through March 2020, and cuts are beginning to affect the domestic market too. Meanwhile, overseas airlines are scaling back their own services into Japan.

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