Haneda Airport in Tokyo
has doubled the number of international flights that take-off and land from the hub on a daily basis.
As of Sunday (March 30th), the facility is handling 80 flights every day, making it easier for both holidaymakers and business travellers to visit Japan.
An added benefit of the move is that it provides a stepping stone in efforts to boost capacity ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games due to be held in the city.
In the past, Narita Airport
has been seen as the best option for gaining access to Tokyo
from abroad, but Haneda is more conveniently located in relation to the metropolis and is the fourth busiest in the world.
Another element that has met with much approval from flyers is that the majority of the new flights operate during the daytime, which is preferential for those travelling longer distances.
Yoshiharu Ueki, president of Japan Airlines, said: "Not only Tokyoites but people from all over Japan will be able to benefit from it and easily fly all over the world.
"I have always said that I wanted Haneda to become a gateway between domestic and international lines, and I think we made the first step toward it today."
Five of the 16 new international slots at Haneda have been taken up by the carrier, while the other 11 were granted to All Nippon Airways.
The first flight to London on Sunday saw 179 passengers aboard the Japan Airways service, which highlights the greater level of choice that will be on offer.
In the past, many Japanese travellers have used regional airports and made connections at airports such as Incheon in South Korea, but the new provision is likely to cut down on this practice.
Osamu Shinobe, president of All Nippon Airways, said: "By better linking domestic and international flights, we can gain back travellers from regional airports in Japan, who have been using airports overseas instead."
Written by Mark Smith
Related news stories:New train line to connect airport to Tokyo central (12th November 2013)Haneda airport upgrades revealed (18th October 2010)JAL provide more Haneda flights (24th January 2014)