格安航空参入 本格化する「空」の価格競争

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 19, 2010)
Low-cost carriers will ignite airfare war
格安航空参入 本格化する「空」の価格競争(10月18日付・読売社説)

Foreign low-cost carriers (LCCs) are lining up to enter the Japanese market. They are catching the eyes of customers by offering ultralow fares--for example, 5,000 yen for Haneda-Kuala Lumpur flights and 4,000 yen on the Ibaraki-Shanghai route.
 羽田―クアラルンプール5000円、茨城―上海4000円――。
 こうした超割安運賃を売り物に、海外の格安航空会社が相次いで日本市場に進出している。

Airfares in Japan are said to be the highest in the world. Intensified price competition will be ringing alarm bells at major domestic airlines, which have provided service to passengers calculated on the premise of charging high airfares.
 航空料金が世界で最も高いと言われる日本に価格競争の波が押し寄せれば、高額運賃を前提に手厚いサービスを競ってきた国内航空大手にとって脅威となろう。

The advance into Japan by these carriers is expected to stimulate demand for air travel among passengers--especially young people--who are sensitive to fares, thereby attracting visitors from Asia and elsewhere. We hope these carriers' full entry into the Japanese market will help revitalize the national economy.
 だが、価格に敏感な若者層など新たな航空需要を開拓し、アジアなどからの訪日客を誘致する呼び水ともなる。本格参入を日本経済の活性化につなげたい。

LCCs now fly about 40 percent of all passengers in the United States and Europe and nearly 20 percent in Asia. Their trademark management strategy is to offer rock-bottom airfares by slashing operating costs.
 格安航空は、欧米で利用客の約4割、アジアで約2割を占めるまでに成長している。特徴は、低料金を実現するために、運航費用を徹底的に削減する手法にある。

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Cost-cutting efforts

These airlines keep a lid on maintenance costs by using a limited number of aircraft models and maximizing flight numbers by shuttling between destinations with a short turnaround time. They crimp on personnel costs by making cabin crew clean the aircraft. Seats are squeezed close together and passengers must pay for in-flight meals and movies.
 機種を統一して整備費を抑え、短時間の折り返し運航で便数を増やす。客室乗務員に清掃も担わせるなどして人件費を減らす。座席の間隔は狭く、機内食や映画鑑賞などは有料だ。

Australia's Jetstar Airways, South Korea's Jeju Air and China's Spring Airlines are already here, and Malaysia's AirAsia--the largest low-cost carrier in Asia--will start operating in Japan in December. This is expected to crank up competition among LCCs.
 日本には、豪ジェットスター、韓国チェジュ、中国・春秋などに続き、アジア最大手マレーシア・エアアジアが12月に就航し、競争は一気に激化するとみられる。

Regular international flights will resume at Haneda Airport late this month for the first time in 32 years with the completion of a new runway. The number of departure and arrival slots at Haneda and Narita airports will expand to 750,000 a year--1.5 times the current figure--in three to four years.
 10月末から32年ぶりに羽田の国際定期便が復活する。新滑走路が完成するためで、成田を含めた発着枠は3~4年後に年間75万回と現在の1・5倍に拡大する。

The planned increase in slots will have the LCCs rubbing their hands with glee. Their entry into Japan had been hampered by the restricted number of available slots.
 格安航空にとっては、参入を阻んでいた発着枠に余裕ができることが追い風だ。

To counter the arrival of foreign LCCs, All Nippon Airways will establish Japan's first full-scale LCC this year and start service next fiscal year. Japan Airlines, which is struggling to reconstruct itself after filing for court-administered bankruptcy early this year, also is contemplating launching an LCC.
 こうした動きに対抗し、全日本空輸は日本初の本格的な格安航空を年内に設立し、来年度から運航を始める。再建中の日本航空も検討に入っている。

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Change concept

Some observers have suggested the Japanese LCCs will steal passengers away from their parent airlines. But domestic airlines will fall behind foreign LCCs in attracting Asian passengers and also lose Japanese passengers to them if they sit idly by. ANA and JAL must overhaul their deep-seated, high-cost management mind-set and promote their low-cost business in earnest.
 本体と顧客を奪い合う懸念もあるが、このままではアジア客の取り込みで後れを取るだけでなく、日本人客も奪われかねない。高コスト経営に慣れきった発想を改め、積極的に取り組むべきだ。

LLCs have not found a foothold in the Japanese market because this nation's civil aviation policy paid more heed to the intentions of domestic airlines sticking with high fares than to passengers.
 格安航空がこれまで日本に浸透しなかったのは、航空政策が、利用者より、高額料金にこだわる国内航空会社の意向を優先してきたからだろう。

We think the government should reinforce its policy support of LCCs as this will enhance the international competitiveness of domestic airlines and promote Japan as a tourism-oriented country.
 政府はこの際、国際競争力の向上と観光立国を推進する観点からも、格安航空に対する政策支援を充実させる必要がある。

The government must consider lowering the expensive landing fees that have rankled foreign airlines, build terminals exclusively for LCCs and deregulate the fare system so fares can be set flexibly. Needless to say, the industry must be closely supervised to ensure that passenger safety is never compromised.
 各国の航空会社から批判が強い高額な着陸料の引き下げ、専用ターミナルの建設、価格設定を弾力化できる運賃制度の規制緩和などが検討課題となろう。安全が確保されているかどうか、監視の徹底は言うまでもない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 18, 2010)
(2010年10月18日01時28分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-10-19 07:17 | 英字新聞

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