Japanese airline trials flights for pets

Japanese airline Star Flyer plans to allow pets to fly with their owners in the cabin.

The Kitakyushu-based carrier recently held test flights between its home airport in western Japan and Tokyo's Haneda Airport.

The airline is seeking to attract more passengers with the new service to make up for losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

A Star Flyer employee, Nakayama Keisuke, and his pet dog checked in together for the flight.

A specially designed cage for the animal was kept in place with a seatbelt in the back row of the cabin, next to the owner.

Nakayama said the trip was a new experience for him, and he enjoyed it, adding there were no problems.

Star Flyer said none of the other passengers complained about a dog being on board.

The company says the airline is planning more tests as it expects strong demand from pet owners.

The carrier hopes to launch a full-fledged service next year after studying fares and regulations.