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Shinkansen Fares To Be Slashed Up To 35% In Western Japan

June 22, 2013 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Operators of the shinkansen bullet train in western Japan plan to reduce fares by up to 35% in response to intensifying competition with budget airlines.

West Japan Railway Co. (9021) and Kyushu Railway Co. announced on Thursday that the discounted fares will be available for trips from July 20 to Sept. 30, with an extension possible depending on demand. Users must reserve their tickets online between a month and two weeks in advance.

The one-way fare between Osaka and Kumamoto will be reduced from 18,320 yen to 12,500 yen, and the fare between Osaka and Kagoshima will be cut from 21,600 yen to 14,000 yen. The tickets are 31-35% cheaper than regular fares.

Low-cost carrier Peach Aviation Ltd., which entered service in March 2012, set its fare for flights between Osaka’s Kansai International Airport and Kagoshima Airport at around a third of that of the shinkansen. The railway operators are concerned that a planned increase of landing slots at Osaka’s Itami airport could lead to more flights to Kyushu, making air travel an even greater threat to the bullet train.

West Japan Railway, or JR West, had begun offering discounts of about 30% on shinkansen tickets between Osaka and Fukuoka in March. Some 70,000 of these tickets have been sold, many more than expected, according to the railway operator.

Edited by : Bill Hurley

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