Narita Airport to Accept Imported Jet Fuel Amid Japan Shortage

A Japan Airlines Co. (JAL) aircraft and a China Eastern Airlines Corp. aircraft on the tarmac at Narita Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Japan closed its borders to new foreign arrivals from Tuesday and have its own citizens isolate on arrival from countries where the omicron variant has been found, while experts around the world analyze the risks it presents. Photographer: Toru Hanai/Bloomberg (Toru Hanai/Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- Japan’s Narita International Airport Corp. decided to accept imported jet fuel to deal with a shortage that has impacted foreign carriers seeking to increase flights as demand surges. 

The airport is in the process of receiving jet fuel that a Japanese trading company has procured from abroad for its airline customer. It will be the first time Narita has used its own fueling and transport facilities to maintain supply, a spokesperson said, while declining to give details such as the quantity of fuel to be imported. 

The move comes as Japan witnesses a sharp rise in the number of foreign travelers, partly attracted by the yen trading at a 38-year low. Domestic and international airports have been facing a fuel crunch over the past few months, amid a shortage of workers and fuel tankers. The transport ministry last month set up a task force to address the issue. 

Under the latest initiative, jet fuel will be unloaded at an oil terminal Narita owns in nearby Chiba city and pumped to the airport via a pipeline. The company will charge for the use of its facility.

Increasing production of jet fuel at domestic refineries risks affecting the supply of other oil products such as gasoline, Masaharu Hirokane, an analyst at Nomura Securities Co., said in a report. The shortage is likely to continue and importing is a realistic solution, he added. 

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