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on the fly: What are Tokyo’s busiest airline markets?

April 24, 2023

A look at Tokyo: the world’s third largest airline market.

Analytics on the fly

on the fly: What are Tokyo’s Busiest Markets?


From an aviation perspective, Tokyo is more than just Japan’s capital city. It’s also one of the largest airline markets in the world. For the current April-to-June quarter, only London and New York have more seats on offer, according to Diio by Cirium schedule data. This includes all area airports, in Tokyo’s case both Narita (which handles mostly international flights) and Haneda (which is more domestic but in recent years becoming more international).

Combined, both Tokyo airports are still about 10% less busy than they were in 2019. The decline is mostly focused at Narita, where departing seat capacity for Q2 is down 27% from four years earlier. This shows that international traffic is still lagging. Haneda’s seat capacity is down just 2%. 

All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines dominate the domestic market from Tokyo. Both have low-cost affiliates, with ANA backing Peach and Skymark while JAL holds ownership in Spring Airlines Japan and Jetstar Japan. Internationally, the top foreign airline serving Tokyo, based on Q2 seats scheduled, is United, a close partner of All Nippon.

Other leading carriers in the market include Cathay Pacific, Asiana, Korean Air, and Taiwan’s EVA Air and China Airlines. Also creeping up the international list is Zip Air, a new low-cost carrier launched by Japan Airlines for international flying including routes to North America. A few airlines like Aeroflot, EgyptAir, and Iberia flew to Tokyo in 2019 but don’t anymore. Newcomers include WestJet, El Al, and Virgin Australia.

Shown below are Tokyo’s top airline markets ranked by ASMs, which factors in distance. Los Angeles not only tops the list. It’s also a market that’s grown capacity since before the pandemic. The same is true of Tokyo-San Francisco. Also note the importance of the Honolulu market, still down in capacity by almost a third. Before Covid, Hawaii was a leading destination for Japanese tourists.

Cirium on the fly Tokyo

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