Japan-based logistics firm Yamoto is partnering with Japan Airlines (JAL) to launch domestic freighter flights in 2024 in response to new truck driver laws.
The two companies will launch flights between Tokyo and Hokkaido, Kyushu and Okinawa in April 2024 in an effort to “build a sustainable and resilient logistics network for long-distance transport”.
The services will be operated by three 28-tonne capacity A321 converted freighters flown by JAL’s low-cost subsidiary, Jetstar Japan.
Yamoto said that from April 2024 the yearly overtime work hours of drivers will be limited to 960 hours, putting pressure on trucking capacity.
Frequent natural disasters have also put pressure on supply chain operations.
JAL also needs to secure cargo transportation capacity as it downsizes its passenger fleet due to long-term population decline and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The purpose of the introduction is to adopt a new means of transport in order to maintain and increase the level of service and transportation capacity [Yamoto] has achieved up to now using trucks, rail, ferry and the cargo space of passenger aircraft,” the logistics firm said.