All Nippon Airways Co. said Tuesday the Japanese airline will remove self-check-in machines for domestic flights at 51 domestic airports from April next year as most passengers can complete their pre-flight procedures via a smartphone app.

The move, which entails removal of 437 machines used for domestic flights, is part of efforts to offer contactless services amid the coronavirus pandemic and reduce costs associated with airport check-ins.

For those who cannot use the app, the airline will continue to offer in-person check-ins at the airports.

Using the carrier's app, passengers can book and purchase electronic tickets for domestic flights and skip check-in procedures at airports. They can then use the electronic tickets on the app to go straight to security inspections and board their flights.

"Smartphones will guide passengers smoothly (from booking to boarding)," Shinichi Inoue, president of All Nippon Airways, told a press conference in Tokyo.

The app, which passengers can also use to read magazines and newspapers on an inflight Wi-Fi network, is currently used by about 50 percent of the airline's passengers on domestic flights. The operator aims to boost the user rate to about 90 percent by around 2026.

The airline said it also aims to add new functions to the app, including offering information about flight cancellations and delays, as well as departure times.

Meanwhile, ANA's domestic rival Japan Airlines Co. said it will continue the use of automated check-in machines. The company has been revamping the machines as part of its COVID-19 measures since spring last year so people do not have to touch the screen.