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Chinese airlines prepare for passenger rush from Japan

Updated: 2011-03-16 13:57


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Chinese airlines prepare for passenger rush from Japan

Chinese people wait for flights home at Narita International Airport in Tokyo, March 15, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

SHANGHAI - Chinese airline companies put on additional flights to Japan Wednesday after the government decided to evacuate citizens (Click for article) from areas worst hit by last week's earthquake and tsunami and affected by nuclear leakages.

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China Eastern Airlines based in Shanghai will send an additional passenger flight, Airbus 340-300, Wednesday to Niigata Airport, where about 1,500 Chinese nationals are waiting to return to China.

China Eastern has four flights between Shanghai and Niigata every week.

Meanwhile, the Dalian branch of China Southern Airlines, another leading flagship carrier, has put on an additional flight daily from Dalian to Nagoya from March 15 to 21.

The company has replaced its smaller aircraft with the 178-seater Airbus-321 on the Dalian-Nagoya route to meet the surging demands, China Southern's Dalian branch said in a statement.

It said its Dalian-Nagoya flight takes off at 8:05 am and the return flight departs Nagoya at 12:15 pm, Beijing time.

On the busier henyang-Tokyo route, China Southern uses the 272-seater Airbus-300.

Service on the Shenyang-Tokyo route was resumed Tuesday, four days after flights were canceled on March 11 following the earthquake.

China Southern alone expects to carry 4,313 passengers back to China Wednesday.

The country's flagship carrier Air China said on Tuesday that it currently operates 30 flights daily, with more than 7,000 seats, between China and Japan.


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