TOKYO — The government ruled Tuesday that the partially state-owned Japan Air Lines must give up its 15-year-old monopoly on international passenger flights, opening the way for two other domestic airlines to compete overseas.
Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone's Cabinet abolished a law that allowed the flag carrier exclusive rights to international air routes, officials said.
"The Cabinet today abolished the 'aviation constitution' and notified all airlines about the decision," a Transport Ministry official said.
The 1970 "aviation constitution," which regulated strict divisions among Japan's three major airlines, was designed to promote the growth and development of the nation's aviation industry.
Under the law, JAL, which is 34.5% government owned, was assigned international routes and domestic flights connecting large cities, while Toa Domestic Airways and All Nippon Airways were allowed to provide domestic services.