TOKYO - Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. said Wednesday they will reduce domestic flights for a week, the first cutback in air services in Japan as the spread of the new coronavirus curbs travel plans.
The airlines known as JAL and ANA said they will cut the number of flights departing from and arriving at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Itami airport in Osaka, and other locations from this Friday to next Thursday, citing reduced passenger numbers.
JAL said in a statement the reduction is also in response to "the change in environment where sports and cultural events have been cancelled or postponed nationwide to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus."
ANA said it will cut more than 200 flights in the seven-day period, including decreasing its 17 daily round-trip flights connecting Haneda and Sapporo in Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido to 12 to 13 a day.
Last week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked organizers of big events scheduled for the next two weeks to consider canceling or postponing them, prompting many mass gatherings to be put off across Japan.
Japanese companies, including Hitachi Ltd., are also asking employees to consider changing their schedules for business trips and meetings with customers, while more employees are opting to work from home as the government and companies encourage teleworking.