Different US airlines have announced that they have resumed normal operations to Japan after the country was struck with a colossal earthquake and tsunami on Friday, disturbing flight operations all over the region.
On Sunday, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines announced that they have resumed their normalflight operations to Japan. Airlines from different parts of the world were forced to cancel their flightsto Japan after several airports in the country closed operations as Japan was hit by a shattering earthquake, which was followed by a tsunami on Friday.
Delta Air Lines and American Airlines will be operating its full schedule to the Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. Both airlines further added that they have no plans to evacuate locally based employees from Japan.
United, formed as a result of the merger between United Airlines and Continental Airlines in October, cancelled their daily Continental flight from Guam to Sendai indefinitely as Sendai is located very near to the epicentre of the earthquake and was flooded by the tsunami. The carriers are trying to get travellers to country’s other airports.
A United’s spokeswoman observed that the company has approximately 1,000 employees in Japan at different airports and offices in Tokyo. The company’s spokesman said that additional personnel are being sent to Narita to offer assistance. However, the company maintains that they have no reports of injuries to any of its Japan-based employees. The spokeswoman of the largest U.S. airline to Japan also added that they have contacted with their employees in Japan to see if they need any help.
United also announced, that travellers who had booked tickets on flights to, from and via Japan can get their flights rescheduled through March 18 without incurring any penalties.
Delta and American are also waiving change fees for passengers who booked tickets on flights that have been impacted by Japan’s unfortunate natural calamity. Travellers who booked tickets on Delta flights to and from Japanese airports can make a one-time travel change through March 20.
American Airlines offered an almost similar change-fee waiver for travellers who booked cheap flights until May 18, with the alternative to reschedule by March 25.
Delta additionally announced that the airline won’t be evacuating its Japanese-based employees. The airline has around 1,200 locally based employees, most of whom are Japanese citizens. There have been no injuries to any Delta employee and crew member, as per the airline e-mail.
Update on Different Japanese Airports
Various airports in Japan have been affected by Friday’s shattering earthquake and tsunami. However, it is the Sendai Airport that has been impacted the most as the airport was inundated with water when the tsunami struck. Efforts are underway to assess damage and to clean up the runway and taxiways.
Ibaraki Airport is reopening on 14th March 2011. Various airlines cancelled their operations after terminal’s ceiling panels fell. Normal operations are expected from today.
Hanamaki Airport and Fukushima Airport will operate on a 24-hour basis for the transportation of relief and rescue supplies to the affected areas.
Tokyo Narita resumed normal operations from Saturday.
Government Travel Advisories
Governments of different countries have issued travel warnings following the mammoth earthquake and equally massive tsunami in Japan. Following are the travel advisories from various countries.
US has urged its nationals to avoid non-essential travel to Japan at this time.
UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against all non-essential travel to Tokyo and northeast Japan.
The French government has recommended its citizens to leave the Tokyo region, referring to threat of further earthquakes and leaked radiation from nuclear plants.
Germany’s foreign ministry has advised German citizens to consider if their travel to the Yokohama/Tokyo region is essential.
“Given the current situation, the foreign ministry warns against staying in the crisis region and advises all Germans near nuclear plants or in the greater Tokyo/Yokohama area to consider whether staying in Japan is necessary,” the website of the foreign ministry stated.