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United Temporarily Nixes Tokyo Narita Service, Haneda Service Remains Unaffected
United Airlines has temporarily suspended flight service between its Los Angeles hub and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport from March 8, 2020 due to concerns over the spread of the new coronavirus. The service will remain suspended between the two airports until at least April 27, 2020.
United’s service to Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport schedules to begin on March 28, 2020, in preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, however, remains unaffected by these changes. This includes the new Haneda services starting on March 28, from Chicago, Newark, and Washington.
The Star Alliance carrier has also suspended Tokyo Narita service from its Houston and Chicago hubs as well. United flights to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport from San Francisco have not been affected. United has also reduced frequencies on its route between Newark and Tokyo Narita and downgraded its aircraft from a Boeing 777-200 to a Boeing 787 for its route between Honolulu and Tokyo Narita.
United has already suspended in February all flights between the U.S. and China as well as Hong Kong through April 24, 2020. The airline mentioned that it will stay in close contact with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health organizations as it continues to evaluate their operating schedule.
The suspension of flights between Los Angeles and Tokyo Narita also means the airline will have no service between its Los Angeles and Asia hubs for at least two months. United, however, will still serve Osaka, Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo Haneda from its San Francisco hub, although with reduced capacities and/or frequencies.
As a result of these decisions, the airline is waiving some flight-change fees and is also offering refunds on some flights to select cities.
Although several airlines have suspended service to China and Hong Kong, United is the first carrier to suspend service to Japan. ANA, Japan Airlines and Singapore Airlines are still operating service between Los Angeles and Tokyo Narita. American, ANA, Delta, (and in March 29) Japan Airlines still operate service between Los Angeles and Tokyo Haneda.
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