The United States and Japan signed an aviation treaty on Monday that turns a once highly restricted airline services market into an “open skies” trade lane with no limits on flights for cargo carriers.
The signing in Tokyo, formalizing the draft treaty the countries agreed to late last year, gives financially troubled Japan Airlines new freedom to set up agreements with American Airlines.
It comes as Japan is expanding its tight airport capacity, adding slots at the famously crowded Tokyo Narita International Airport, which is No. 4 on the JOC list of Top 30 International Cargo Airports, and opening the domestic Haneda Airport near Tokyo to international flights.
And for shippers, the treaty lifts limits on flights for freight airlines.
FedEx and UPS have fought for years to expand services to Japan and FedEx put such a premium on the market that it bought the Flying Tiger Lines some 20 years ago largely because the freight airline had highly coveted flight authority to Japan.