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  • Ari Ketola

Greetings from Japan!

Airport College International had the pleasure of meeting with several ground handling and freight forwarding industry players and WAI Western Associates in Tokyo this week.

It was great to discuss face to face with industry experts and hear how they are ensuring the future growth of passenger and cargo traffic min Japan. Employee wellbeing and proper training are key factors in recruiting and retaining qualified existing staff.

WAI and AC management in Tokyo, Japan
Picture: WAI’s management team and Airport College representatives in Tokyo

Aviation Industry News from Japan

Japan Secures Future of Ground Handling Workforce

The Japanese aviation industry is stepping up its efforts to attract more people to work in airport ground handling. This comes amid a growing labour shortage. The industry's ability to recruit a sufficient number of workers will also affect Japan's efforts to promote itself as a tourism-oriented country.

According to the Ministry of Transport, there are about 400 ground handling companies in Japan, including those affiliated with major airlines. The Airport Ground Handling Association was established last August to address the needs and challenges of the industry.

The industry will continue to face staff shortages unless efforts are stepped up to address the issues that drive staff away, improve working conditions and enhance training.

As part of its initiative to make Japan a more tourism-oriented country, the government has set a target to double the number of visitors to Japan to 60 million by 2030 from 2019 levels. It is therefore important to ensure that airports across the country are properly prepared to handle the influx of visitors.

Japan a Hot Tourist Destination in 2024

The number of foreign visitors hit an all-time high in March. The Japanese yen fell to its weakest level against the dollar in 34 years, which has a direct impact on the growing number of tourists. For airlines, demand for international cargo and flights has recovered, providing an opportunity for higher revenues.

Haneda is Tokyo's most popular airport

Japan's two main airlines, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, are increasingly shifting passenger traffic from Tokyo Narita International Airport to Haneda as part of a "two-hub" strategy. Haneda is a popular arrival and departure point for visitors to Tokyo due to its proximity to the city centre. By train, monorail or taxi, the 18-kilometre journey to the heart of Tokyo takes less than 20 minutes, while the train from Narita takes up to 45 minutes.

Japan to Build Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft

Japan plans to build an aircraft powered by alternative fuels such as hydrogen by 2035. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced the $33 billion project, which involves a number of domestic and foreign manufacturers, including Subaru, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and energy companies.

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Best regards, Pertti, Ari and Yoko-san


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