Japan’s transportation ministry announced that Sendai Airport will partially reopen its runways to domestic commercial flights from April 13, with the two carriers Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) similarly announcing that they will resume daily round-trip services from Wednesday next week.
The airport has been closed since March 11 in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the northeastern city.
JAL will only operate flights between April 13 and 20. On April 13, JAL will depart from Tokyo Haneda at 0655 and arrive in Sendai at 0800. The return leg will depart from Sendai at 1700, arriving back in Tokyo at 1805. From April 14 until April 20, the flight will depart at 0855, arriving in Sendai at 1000. The return leg will operate according to the same timings above, departing Sendai at 1700 and arriving back in Tokyo at 1805.
From Osaka, JAL will operate two daily flights. The first will depart Osaka at 1145 and arrive in Sendai at 1300, while the second flight will depart at 1445 and arrive in Sendai at 1600. The first return leg departs from Sendai at 1100, arriving in Osaka at 1200, and the second return leg will depart at 1400 and arrive in Osaka at 1520.
JAL said in a statement: “As operating conditions at Sendai Airport remain subject to change, JAL will extend the period of temporary suspensions of its scheduled round-trip flights from Fukuoka and Sapporo to Sendai until May 31, 2011.”
ANA will be operating three round-trip flights between Tokyo Haneda and Sendai according to the following schedule:
- The first flight will depart Tokyo Haneda at 0730 and arrive in Sendai at 830. The first return leg departs from Sendai at 0930 and will arrive back in Tokyo at 1035.
- The second flight will depart Tokyo Haneda at 1030 and arrive in Sendai at 1130. The second return leg will depart Sendai at 1230, arriving back in Tokyo at 1335.
- The third flight will depart from Tokyo Haneda at 1330 and arrive in Sendai at 1430. The last return leg will depart Sendai at 1530 and arrive back in Tokyo at 1635.
This positive development comes immediately after another earthquake, measuring magnitude 7 on the Richter scale, shook the country yesterday, April 7.
Meanwhile, there are other signs of recovery. In Tokyo, the express trains between Narita International Airport and Tokyo city are also back in service. According to East Japan Railway, the trains are running 16 times a day as opposed to the usual 27 trips a day.