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Japan Airlines Slashes Domestic Schedule Amid Covid-19 Resurgence
Japan Airlines has announced temporary changes to its domestic network in response to the Japanese government’s efforts to contain COVID-19 in the country. Japan Airlines Group, the airline’s parent company, is expecting a slight decline in travel demand next month in response to the rising number of Covid-19 cases reported in Japan, and it will implement several service reductions and aircraft changes between April 29 and May 31.
Japan on Sunday declared its third state of emergency for Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic as the daily Covid-19 case numbers in Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, and Kyoto continue to rise. The government is requesting strong restrictions and closures over the next two weeks, which include an annual week-long holiday, and is asking people to refrain from participating in non-essential activities or traveling to and from areas in Japan where case numbers are surging.
The temporary service cancellations to Japan Airlines Group’s domestic network affect Japan Airlines, J-Air, Japan Air Commuter, Hokkaido Air System, Japan Transocean Air and Ryuku Air Commuter. The conglomerate has added 1,298 flights to its list of scheduled flights to be canceled in May. A total of 8,903 scheduled flights have been canceled for the month of May, which includes scheduled flights already canceled prior to the government’s state of emergency declaration. Japan Airlines Group will only operate up to 65% of its domestic network in May.
In accordance with the airline’s conditions of carriage, customers affected by a service cancelation will be re-accommodated on an alternative flight. Japan Airlines is also reminding its customers they may also receive a new seat assignment if there is a change in the aircraft used for service. First class and business class may also not be offered when an aircraft change occurs.
Japan Airlines is still providing assurance of safety to its customers traveling during the government travel restriction. In response to the service reduction, Japan Airlines announced its commitment to fighting COVID-19 by introducing an antiviral and antibacterial coating to be sprayed inside the aircraft cabin beginning in April. The coating will be applied to high touchpoint surfaces inside Japan Airlines’ passenger jets, including the lavatory, seats, armrests, overhead bins, interior walls and various locations travelers may come in contact with. The airline says the coating would effectively inactivate most viruses within the cabin to safeguard customers during their travel.
Japan Airlines has been awarded a Five Star Covid-19 Airline Safety Rating from SKYTRAX, and a Diamond Certification from Simpliflying’s APEX Health Safety. The airline is widely recognized in the commercial aviation industry for its Covid-19 prevention and safety measures implemented at the airport and onboard the plane.
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