Tue, Feb 11, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Airlines send jets to Tokyo to get stranded tourists

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s two largest airlines yesterday started dispatching flights to bring back Taiwanese tourists stranded at Tokyo airport after the Japanese capital was severely hit by the worst storm it has seen in the past two decades.

The storm that began over the weekend has killed 11 people and injured more than 1,000. It also disrupted the capital’s transport system, forcing thousands of airline passengers to spend the night at the terminals of Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.

China Airlines said that it had dispatched an additional flight to Narita airport yesterday afternoon to bring home passengers on the waiting list, as well as transferring others to TransAsia Airways and Delta Airlines flights.

The aircraft was an Airbus 340 model that can accommodate 276 passengers. The airline said that the flight was scheduled to take off from Tokyo at 8:30pm yesterday and arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 11:30pm.

EVA Airways said it had dispatched an Airbus 330-200 yesterday afternoon to bring home 252 stranded paasengers from Tokyo. The flight was scheduled to take off from Tokyo at 8pm yesterday and arrive in Taiwan at 11:05pm.

EVA also plans to replace the aircraft in one of its scheduled flights to Tokyo with a bigger model to bring back more passengers.

Taoyuan International Airport Corp said 10 flights were affected by the snow storm in Tokyo by 8pm yesterday evening, including six flights arriving from the Japanese capital and four others heading there.

The snow storm in Tokyo and the surrounding area also disrupted operations at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Sunday, affecting a total of 12 flights departing for or arriving from Tokyo.

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