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Flights linking small cities in Japan get more people in the air

Passengers on Fukuoka-Matsumoto route jump sixfold in 10 years

The number of passengers using flights between 56 regional airports, excluding major hubs such as Tokyo's Haneda Airport, rose by a third between 2008 and 2018.

NAGOYA/NAGANO, JAPAN -- Demand is surging for nonstop flights between smaller regional airports in Japan, as both businesspeople and domestic and foreign tourists look for better ways to get where they are going.

Passenger numbers on flights between New Chitose Airport and Hakodate Airport, both in Hokkaido, jumped more than sixtyfold between fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2018. Passenger traffic between Matsumoto, in Nagano Prefecture, and the southwestern city of Fukuoka increased by more than six times during the same 10-year period, while volume between Nagoya, in central Japan, and the northern city of Yamagata was nearly 300% higher.

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