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UPDATE 1-Qatar Air mulls halting Japan service over slots row
February 2, 2015 / 5:47 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Qatar Air mulls halting Japan service over slots row

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PARIS, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Qatar Airways is considering withdrawing its services to Japan because of industry losses that it blames on airport restrictions, a person close to the Gulf carrier said on Monday.

The airline is “in the final stages of deliberations” about whether to withdraw the three daily services, which include one operated with the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the person said.

The routes are from Doha to Osaka, Tokyo-Narita and Tokyo-Haneda.

“This is due to the restrictive policies over slot timings and runway limitations that prohibit the airline from operating at timings that provide economic benefit and optimal connectivity for passengers,” the person said, asking not to be identified because no decision has not been finalized.

The airline declined to comment.

The person close to the airline said constraints on the use of Japanese airspace had resulted in “sizeable losses of revenues” for airlines and therefore Qatar Airways was “seriously considering removing Japan” from its routemap.

Qatar Airways first launched services to Japan with a daily link to Osaka in 2005. It added Tokyo-Narita in 2010 and most recently added Tokyo-Haneda, which it serves with the Boeing 787, in 2014.

Japanese aviation officials were not available for comment outside business hours. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Astrid Wendlandt and David Holmes)

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