Press Release

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
1 Aviation Circle - Washington, DC 20001-6000 - (703) 417-8370 - Fax: (703) 417-8371

Monday, February 02, 1998

Washington Region To Benefit From U.S. Japan Aviation Agreement

Alexandria, VA— The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority looks forward to measurable increases in economic benefits from trade and tourism in the Washington region as a result of the Administration’s recent successful negotiations with the government of Japan to reach a liberalized aviation agreement.

Said James A. Wilding, General Manager and CEO of the Airports Authority, "This breakthrough agreement benefits both passengers and shippers throughout our region. We will see more frequent and more competitively priced air service between Washington and Japan and a stimulation of our local economy that could translate into hundreds of millions of dollars."

Currently, All Nippon Airlines (ANA) offers the only non-stop direct service from Tokyo to Washington Dulles International Airport. While flying four days a week, the route generates nearly $325 million a year in economic activity in the region. With the new liberalized agreement ANA will have the opportunity to increase flights with a corresponding increase in the economic impact.

The new agreement also allows U.S. airlines to develop commercial alliances with Japanese airlines. Such alliances have proven to increase and improve air service between the U.S. and Europe and offer area travelers a much broader choice of flight options.

Washington Dulles International Airport has grown 25 per cent over the last five years with much of the focus on increased international air service. In 1997 alone, the airport served nearly one million additional passengers. This new agreement will enable the Airports Authority to seek additional airlines to provide service between Washington and Japan.

More service will also improve frequency of cargo shipments and increase capacity. Cargo and freight service increased nearly 14 per cent over the last year at Dulles.

The Administration’s negotiations, headed by the Departments of State and Transportation were supported by a number of major U.S. airport operators as well as the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority because of the significant economic impact increased aviation activity will bring to those airports’ communities.