Japan plans system to share jet fuel info in bid to increase flights

Japan's transport and tourism ministry is working to tackle the issue of insufficient jet fuel at airports in order to increase flights amid a tourism boom.

The ministry is working out a mechanism to allow airport operators to proactively gather information about airlines' plans to add more flights, and then notify oil wholesalers to ensure there will be enough fuel at airports.

The ministry will ask airport operators to have airlines begin negotiations sooner to procure fuel.

Airlines have not been able to add more flights to and from Japan because they cannot secure enough fuel.

In one case, tour groups had to cancel 4,700 overnight stays at hotels in Hokkaido, northern Japan, because there were no available flights.

Oil refineries in Japan have been consolidated in recent years, but this has increased the distance to airports and the time needed to transport fuel.

Another issue is shortages of refueling staff at some airports.

The ministry hopes the new system will give wholesalers enough time to prepare and ship fuel, and allow airlines to add more international flights.

The government says it will finalize the plan next week.