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Friday, October 5, 2012

JAL extends flight cuts to China till November 17 2012

Japan Airlines (JAL) announced that they will be extending the previously announced flight cut on select China routes till November 17 2012. Originally JAL planned to resume those flights on October 28 when winter schedule starts but demand is still severely affected by the current political conflicts between the two countries and therefore JAL has no choice but to extend the temporary suspensions.


The affected flights are:

JL863/864 on Tokyo Narita (NRT) - Beijing (PEK)
Frequency will be cut from 2 to 1 daily roundtrips on this route till November 17 2012. A while back JAL announced they would be upgrading the capacity on these flights from 737-800 to 767-300. I just did a random search and JAL website is still listing 767-300 as the operating aircraft on these flights. So looks like they are sticking to their plan for now.

Tokyo Narita (NRT) - Shanghai Pudong (PVG)
The daily JL877/874 flights will be suspending leaving only 2 daily roundtrip flights on this route till November 17 2012.

Osaka Kansai (KIX) - Shanghai Pudong (PVG)
The daily JL897/898 flights will be suspending leaving only 1 daily roundtrip flights on this route till October 27. The Friday and Sunday flights will be resumed between October 28 and November 17 leaving this route with 9 weekly instead of 14 weekly roundtrip flights during this period.

As of October 4, JAL has received a total of 19,500 seat cancellations from tourist group according to Sankei (Japanese only). 9,200 of them are on flights departing from Japan while the remaining 10,300 are on flights departing from China. According to Mainichi (Japanese only), routes to mainland China accounts for 10% of JAL's international sales but a lot of the tourists have switched from JAL's mainland China flights to JAL's flights to Taiwan and Hong Kong. That helps lower the affect to JAL's business. ANA is facing similar increased cancellations and had announced extensions to their capacity cuts too.

Right now JAL has a special charges waiver policy (Japanese, English) in place for those who want to cancel or change their tickets on China-Japan routes. Only those who have issued the tickets on or before September 19 2012 are eligible. 

For more details on, you can refer to JAL website (Japanese, English)

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