Philippine Airlines has pushed back the launch of its upcoming non-stop flights between Manila and Sapporo to October 8 this year, following the magnitude-6.6 earthquake that hit Japan’s northern Hokkaido region on Thursday, September 6.

The new thrice-weekly service was originally planned to launch today, September 10, with the airline’s new Airbus A321neo aircraft, which feature its new fully flat regional business class seat product.

Affected passengers with tickets purchased for flights between September 10 and October 7 are able to rebook within 30 days from October 8 without incurring rebooking fees, though booking in a higher travel class – such as from economy to premium economy – will require passengers to pay the difference. Passengers can also reroute their flights to Tokyo Narita or Tokyo Haneda airports.

A number of airports in Japan, notably Osaka’s Kansai International Airport and Sapporo New Chitose Airport, were forced to temporarily close following the earthquake, resulting in numerous flight cancellations.

New Chitose Airport has since fully reopened, while limited flights are now operating out of Kansai Airport’s Terminal 2 only – Terminal 1 continues to be closed. Japan Airlines, ANA, Spring Airlines and Peach Aviation are currently scheduled to operate flights at Kansai Airport between September 10-13.

Travellers are advised to check the latest information on their airline’s websites.