It is difficult to treat patients with acquired airway stenosis, and the quality of life of such patients is therefore lowered. We have suggested the application of photodynamic therapy (PDT) as a new treatment for airway stenosis and have determined the efficacy of PDT in animal disease models using a second-generation photosensitizer with reduced photosensitivity. An airway stenosis rabbit model induced by scraping of the tracheal mucosa was administered NPe6 (5 mg kg−1), and the stenotic lesion was irradiated with 670 nm light emitted from a cylindrical diffuser tip at 60 J cm−2 under bronchoscopic monitoring. PDT using NPe6 improved airway stenosis (P = 0.043) and respiratory stridor. A significant prolongation of survival time was seen in the PDT-treated animals compared to that in the untreated animals (P = 0.025) and 44% of the treated animals achieved long-term survival (>60 days). In conclusion, PDT using NPe6 is effective for improvement in airway stenosis.