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Japan's Narita airport to cut user fees to help struggling airlines

This file photo taken on Sept. 11, 2020, shows passenger planes parked on a taxiway at Narita airport near Tokyo. (Kyodo)

CHIBA, Japan (Kyodo) -- The operator of Japan's Narita airport said Thursday it will reduce user charges for airlines currently operating international or domestic passenger flights in a bid to help their businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

    Narita International Airport Co. said it will waive landing and parking charges for all scheduled domestic flights, whil-e reducing the amount for international flights.

    The measure will be put into effect retroactively from April. It will be in place until the number of flights exceeds 50 percent of those logged in fiscal 2019 and a recovery trend can be expected.

    "We are staking everything to maintain the aviation network of the country," Akihiko Tamura, the company's president, said at a press conference.

    For international flights, small-sized aircraft will receive a 30,000 yen ($280) reduction, while 70,000 yen will be cut for medium- or large-sized planes with a maximum takeoff weight of 100 tons or more.

    The number of arrivals and departures between April and September at the airport near Tokyo dropped 64 percent from a year earlier to 47,986. The number of passengers tumbled 94 percent in the same period due to travel restrictions imposed amid the pandemic, according to the company.

    ANA Holdings Inc., the parent of major Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways Co., is expecting to book a record annual net loss of around 530 billion yen ($5 billion), company sources said Wednesday.

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