Taiwan and Japan yesterday signed a new air transportation agreement in which two new airline routes from Taipei to Komatsu and from Taipei to Miyazaki were added, bringing the number of regular airline routes between the two countries from eight to 10.
Additionally, the route from Taipei to Osaka will be extended to Los Angeles or Seattle in the US, according to the provisions of the agreement.
Taiwan and Japan also agreed that airlines from both countries can operate code-share flights, part of a cooperative services agreement between two carriers meaning that a flight operated by an airline is jointly marketed as a flight for one or more other airlines.
According to the agreement, which takes effect immediately, Japan designated Japan Airlines International Co Ltd (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) will fly the airline routes between the two countries, taking the place of their respective subsidiary companies Japan Asia Airways (JAA) and Air Nippon (ANK).
Japan also designated Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) to provide air cargo transportation services between the two countries.
An official with the Ministry of Transportation and Communication's Civil Aeronautics Administration told the Taipei Times that JAA and ANK were established specifically to operate routes between Taiwan and Japan as a result of Chinese opposition to ANA and JAL flying to Taiwan.
"That JAL and ANA took over the routes reflects the close relationships between Taiwan and Japan," said the official, who refused to give his name.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday lauded the new air transportation agreement between Taiwan and Japan as evidence of the substantial progress in relations between the two countries.