Japanese airline brings Denton Hall on board

Denton Hall has been appointed to advise a new Japanese airline on all “international aspects” including financing a fleet of aircraft.

The airline will be based in Sapporo, capital of the Hokkaido region in northern Japan. A name for the airline is yet to be decided but the consortium behind it is called Hokkaido Operations Systems Co. The airline will initially concentrate on the world's busiest route between Sapporo and Tokyo.

There are also plans to build a new terminal at Sapporo's Shin-Chitose airport, which will become the “airline's home base”.

Richard Playle, based in London, is the corporate partner who will head the Denton Hall team working on the project.

He said: “The work could go on and on, but even the initial setting-up will take at least five years.”

He said that the airline will be formed in April once the licence has been granted by the Japanese Ministry of Transport, which has already shown support for the scheme.

Playle said that the airline project would generate an “enormous amount of work” for Denton Hall.

This would include the initial financing of the aircraft and the subcontracting out of aircraft maintenance and the training of personnel to other airlines.

The project is open-ended because after the first domestic flight, projected for 1999, there are plans to make the terminal a “hub of north-east Asian flights”.

Denton Hall was approached by an old contact of Playle's from his days as the resident partner in Tokyo. He said that the deal shows the importance of long-term relationships.