Most Chinese flights to Japan remain normal as returning passengers increase

08:51, March 16, 2011      

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China's major airlines announced on Tuesday that most of the flights between China and Japan are maintaining normal schedules as many Chinese citizens return home after a devastating quake and tsunami struck eastern Japan.

On Tuesday, the country's top three airlines, Air China, China Southern, and China Eastern, said that the majority of flights between the two countries are operating normally and that they would do their best to meet the needs of citizens in Japan who wish to return to the country.

A spokesperson with Air China said on Tuesday that the majority of its flights to Japan are scheduled as normal, adding that the company currently runs 30 flights with a total of more than 7,000 seats between China and Japan each day.

China Southern Airlines, the country's largest air carrier by fleet size, said on Tuesday that its flights between Tokyo and the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian could no longer meet the demand.

The announcement comes as a result of a surge in the number of Chinese passengers in Tokyo who wish to return to China.

A spokesperson with the company said that starting on March 15 until March 21, it would fly its larger airplane, the A321, instead of the original A319, to the Japanese city of Nagoya, which is near Tokyo. The flights would bring back passengers to Dalian city.

The company has one flight each day between the two cities. The spokesperson said that the larger airplane could carry 178 passengers.

The airline announced earlier that it resumed flights to Tokyo airports on Sunday after it canceled flights to the Japanese capital city on Saturday following the massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the tsunami hit Japan on Friday afternoon.

However, flights to other Japanese cities, such as Osaka, Nagoya, and Sapporo, all maintained normal schedules.

Chinese government officials said on Tuesday that there have been no reports of casualties among Chinese tourists in Japan. The National Tourism Administration also asked Chinese citizens to be prudent before traveling to Japan and warned Chinese tourists about aftershocks.

Meanwhile, China Eastern announced on Tuesday that its flights between Shanghai and Fukushima were now canceled. However, the majority of its flights are maintaining normal schedules.

China Eastern is currently running 50 flights between China and Japan each day, according to a statement posted on its website.

Source: Xinhua
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