, TOKYO, Oct 5 – Japan Airlines said Friday it would extend temporary cuts in its service between Japan and China because it sees no upturn in demand as a territorial row between the two countries rumbles on.
The Japanese flag carrier had initially said it would reduce the number of flights from October 10 to 27 on three routes — Tokyo’s Narita Airport -Beijing, Narita-Shanghai and Kansai-Pudong — to cope with the drop off.
But the airline said it would extend the reduction by three weeks to November 17.
“Future booking forecasts do not indicate recovery in the immediate short-term following the initial temporary schedule adjustment.”
The number of Narita-Beijing flights has been slashed from two to one and Narita-Pudong flights from three to two. On the Osaka-Pudong route, the number of weekly flights has been cut from 14 to nine.
The dispute over a group of islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, flared after the Japanese government nationalised some of them on September 11, sparking violent demonstrations in Chinese cities.
Japanese factories and businesses have been targeted, while there have also been reports of physical assaults on Japanese nationals in several areas including Hong Kong.
JAL said last month that about 15,500 seats reserved for group tours had been cancelled on its Japan-China flights for the three months to November.
Its main rival All Nippon Airways has also said about 40,000 seat reservations have been cancelled on its Japan-China flights for the three months to November.