February 2007, Canada and Japan have just announced an expanded air services agreement between the two countries. Promises to passengers of increases to flights, greater route flexibility, and enhanced commercial ties are offered up in support of the agreements that have just been made.
Two years forward and in February 2009 Air Canada is operating a single daily frequency between the two countries down from three, having abandoned Osaka and prior to the earlier announcement having withdrawn from Nagoya. Japan Airlines similarly has reduced frequency between the two countries.
Here we are in April 2009 and a new bilateral air transport agreement is announced with similar promises being made.
Can the airlines of Canada and Japan work to achieve a reinstatement of services to provide a platform for growth and development?
For an innovative commercial airline that can make the right marketing investment for the long term the evolving bilateral presents a great opportunity. Access to unlimited services outside of Tokyo, extended reach through codeshare provisions, access to Tokyo’s Haneda airport, and an increasingly liberal pricing regime. In addition, the maximum return on Canada’s portfolio of slots at Tokyo’s Narita airport remains to be achieved.