March 16, 2011 / 9:38 AM / in 7 years

Airlines' response to Japan quake, radiation fears

(Reuters) - Following are responses from airlines from several countries following Japan’s earthquake and tsunami and subsequent crisis at a nuclear power complex.

<p>Commercial passenger jets are parked at Yokota Air Base after diverting from Narita International Airport as a result of the magnitude 8.9 earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, 2011. REUTERS/US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse/Handout</p>

AUSTRALIA : -- Qantas (QAN.AX) will route its flights to Tokyo via Hong Kong from Wednesday evening so that the crew will not stay in Tokyo overnight, a spokesman said.

-- The change was for operational reasons and to ensure the crew is adequately rested given the situation in Japan, he said.

-- Qantas runs a daily service to Tokyo from Sydney and three services a week from Perth.

AUSTRIA: -- Austrian Airlines said all of its flights to Tokyo’s Narita have been making stopovers in Seoul since Tuesday.

BRITAIN: -- Virgin Atlantic said there were no changes to Tokyo flight schedules. The airline said it flies once a day to Narita and was monitoring the situation.

-- British Airways BAY.L said it has made no changes to schedules so far to Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports.

-- BA and Virgin both said they were continuing to operate a normal service to the Narita and Haneda airports in Tokyo, but were monitoring the situation carefully. A BA spokeswoman said the airline was looking at alternative options but today’s daily flight to Narita would go ahead.

CHINA: -- Air China (0753.HK) (601111.SS) said it had cancelled flights to Tokyo from Beijing and Shanghai, mainly due to a lack of operational capacity at some airports, but is still operating 30 round trip flights a day.

-- China Eastern Airlines (0670.HK) (600115.SS) suspended flights from Shanghai to Fukushima, but other flights between China and Japan were still operating and it was adding an extra flight to Tokyo on Thursday to help Chinese citizens get home.

-- China South Airlines (1055.HK) (600029.SS) said it had cancelled one flight from Changchun to Sendai, which was badly hit by the tsunami, between March 14 and March 26. It added one more flight to Tokyo on Wednesday to get Chinese citizens back.

FINLAND: -- Finnair (FIA1S.HE) said it was still flying to Tokyo as normal.

FRANCE: The French embassy in Tokyo said it had asked Air France (AIRF.PA) to mobilise planes for the evacuation of French nationals from Japan, and two planes were already on their way.

GERMANY: -- Deutsche Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) said it was continuing to fly to Japan but was diverting flights away from Tokyo to Osaka and Nagoya via Seoul until at least the weekend.

HONG KONG: -- Cathay Pacific (0293.HK) said it was monitoring the situation carefully and so far there had been no indications that flight operations to Japan were likely to be affected.

ITALY: -- Alitalia said it plans to divert all flights to Tokyo to Osaka starting March 17. Alitalia runs 14 flights per week to Tokyo’s Narita from Rome and Milan and four flights per week to Osaka.

JAPAN: -- All Nippon Airways (9202.T) and Japan Airlines said there had been no schedule changes in their flights from Tokyo to overseas destinations.

MALAYSIA: -- Malaysia’s AirAsia (AIRA.KL), Asia’s largest budget carrier by fleet size, and Malaysian Airline System MASM.KL, the country’s national carrier, said they were flying to Tokyo without any disruptions to schedule yet.

-- The Malaysian Atomic Energy and Licensing Board has started scanning flights originating from Japan for radiation at Malaysian Airports.

NETHERLANDS: -- Dutch airline KLM, part of Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA), changed the schedule for its Tuesday and Wednesday flights to and from Tokyo, which will now land at Osaka Kansai airport instead of Tokyo Narita airport. A KLM spokeswoman said this will be a precautionary measure. Amsterdam remains the airport of departure or destination. Flights from Tokyo Narita airport to Amsterdam until March 22 will make an intermediate stop at Kansai Airport, Osaka, KLM said in a statement.

NEW ZEALAND: -- Air New Zealand (AIR.NZ) flights to Tokyo were continuing as per schedule for the time being but were being reviewed in the light of new information.

PHILIPPINES: -- Cebu Air (CEB.PS), operator of budget carrier Cebu Pacific, said it had no plans for now to cancel its three times weekly flights to Osaka.

-- Philippine Airlines (PAL.PS) said it was closely monitoring the situation in Japan. The airline flies to Narita, Kansai, Nagoya and Fukuoka 32 times weekly.

SINGAPORE: -- Singapore Airlines (SIAL.SI) said on its website that it was closely monitoring developments in Japan but that at this point, all its flights to and from Japan are operating as scheduled.

SOUTH KOREA: South Korea said on Wednesday it had arranged with Korean Air (003490.KS) and Asiana Airlines (020560.KS) to increase the number of flights to/from Japan to fly Koreans who want to come back. There’ll be seven Korean Air flights, up from four currently, and two, up from one currently, between Incheon-Narita. Also, Korean Air is changing planes to a 280 seater from a 180 seater for its flight between Incheon-Haneda. Vehicles have been running to take Koreans who want to move away from the Sendai area and 271 people have so far moved.

SRI LANKA: Sri Lankan Airlines said it would, at the request of the foreign ministry, add additional flights to and from Japan from Wednesday to facilitate the return of any Sri Lankans there.

SWEDEN: -- SAS (SAS.ST) said flights were operating to Japan as normal, but a stopover in Beijing would be added for flights between Wednesday and Friday due to a need for extra crew members to help establish a temporary base in Beijing.

SWITZERLAND: -- Swiss International Air Lines said the airline was flying once a day to Tokyo with an interim stop in Hong Kong, allowing them to reassess the situation and shorten turnaround time in Tokyo. Crews change in Hong Kong.

TAIWAN: -- China Airlines (2610.TW) said it had no plans to cancel flights, but may consider it at a later date.

-- EVA Airways (2618.TW) said it would cancel flights to Tokyo and Sapporo until the end of March.

THAILAND: -- Thai Airways International (THAI.BK) was still flying to Japan as normal.

TURKEY: -- Turkish airlines said on its website it was flying as normal to Japan.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: - Emirates said on its website it was flying as normal to Japan.

UNITED STATES: -- Two major U.S. airlines with big trans-pacific operations, American Airlines AMR.N and Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N), said that they were not cancelling flights and that operations were continuing as normal.

-- American Airlines said it is flying its full schedule with no changes. The carrier said it has not changed the planes to accommodate changing demand. “We must use our (Boeing (BA.N)) 777s to and from Japan because of range,” a spokesman said.

-- Continental also said on its website it was flying as normal.

-- Boeing Co (BA.N) said on Tuesday it had no plans to evacuate employees from Japan and expected no major impact on suppliers after Japan’s earthquake.

VIETNAM: Vietnam Airlines was running flights to Japan as normal, but said in a statement that passengers with tickets for flights to or from Japan between March 11 and May 10 would be allowed to make changes or cancellations to the flights free of charge. (Reporting by Reuters bureaux, compiled and edited by World Desk Asia and David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

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