My Account Menu

CAPA Login


Register to trial CAPA Membership!

Airports in north-east Japan affected by earthquake and tsunami: Markets fall - UPDATE 2

14-Mar-2011

The Nikkei Stock Average plunged 5.2% at the opening bell on Monday and fell as much as 6.3% in the first session since the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on Friday. There are concerns rolling power failures could affect the Japanese economy. Stock markets around the Asia Pacific have traded sharply lower today.

Power cuts in Tokyo Area

Life for many people in the greater Tokyo area including seven surrounding prefectures was disrupted today by a series of rolling power cuts following a massive electrical power shortage stemming from the shut-down of two nuclear power stations. Many trains were affected - both JR East and private railways. The power cuts will remain in place "until further notice", according to the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

Adding to the chaos, the Shinmoedake volcano in southwestern Japan has erupted after nearly two weeks of relative silence, sending ash and debris up to 4km into the air. There are no immediate reports of airport or airway disruption.

Sendai and Ibaraki airports closed

Several airports in north-east Japan have been affected by Friday’s devastating earthquake and tsunamis. None more so than Sendai Airport, which was flooded when the tsunami struck, and remains closed. A technical team from the military arrived on the scene yesterday to assess damage and prepare to clean up the runway, taxiways and apron. They will be checking government buildings and facilities to establish what restoration and repairs are necessary.

Ibaraki Airport is reopening on 14-Mar-2011. Ceiling panels in the terminal fell to the floor and the three airlines operating there (Skymark, Spring and Asiana) cancelled operations. Skymark and Spring have said they will resume normal operations.

Hanamaki Airport (located in Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture) will resume operations of its terminal building shortly. Japan's MLIT has decided to operate Hanamaki Airport and Fukushima Airport on a 24-hour basis for the transportation of relief and rescue supplies to the devastated areas in the northeast.

According to the ministry, 119 flights were cancelled on 13-Mar-2011 operating out of the airports in Tohoku areas and Ibaraki Airport.
For 14-Mar-2011 JAL will cancel flights using Sendai and Hanamaki airports and ANA will cancel flights using Sendai Airport, totaling 66 flights.

JAL will operate 24 extra flights in and out of Aomori, Akita and Yamagata airports on 14-Mar-2011 and ANA and Air Do will operate 20 extra flights in and out of Fukushima Airport.

ANA announced it would operate 2 daily Chubu-Fukushima extra sections until the reopening of Sendai Airport. ANA used to operate 5 round trip flights daily between Chubu and Sendai until 11-Mar-2011 when Sendai Airport was shut down after the earthquake.

Major gateways including Tokyo Narita and Haneda resumed normal operations on Saturday. Access to Narita Airport was disrupted and travelers and airport employees faced difficulties in reaching the airport.

CAPA expresses its deepest sympathies to the families affected by these events. Our thoughts are with the people of Japan and for those involved in the recovery effort.

Status of North-East Japanese Airports, MLIT 14-Mar-2011

Sendai Airport Closed from 15:06 March 11.
Japanese military technical squad now on site.
More than 200 wrecked vehicles and rubble of destroyed houses litter runway, taxiways and and apron.
Clear up started today (March 14). Buildings, facilities and infrastructure being checked for damage and repair assessment.

Odate-Noshiro Airport
(Normal operation hours 08:00-19:30)
Scheduled flights are operated.
Remote air support facilities operations suspended.

Misawa Airport
(Normal operation hours 08:00-20:00)
Scheduled flights are operated.
Due to power failure, gates are operated manually.

Hanamaki Airport Unable to use terminal building due to collapsed ceiling.
Planned resumption of terminal building operations is March 17.
In response to increase of rescue aircraft, 24-hour operation will be introduced.
(Normal operation hours: 08:00-19:30)
Operation of scheduled flights is suspended.
But the airport will be accept extra flights of relief goods on a 24-hour basis.

Fukushima Airport 24-hour operation introduced in response to increase of earthquake aid flights.
(Normal operation hours: 08:00-20:00)
Scheduled flights are being operated. 20 extra sections were operated on March 13.
Glass windows in control tower were completely destroyed.

Ibaraki Airport Unable to use terminal building due to collapsed ceiling.
Plan to resume operation of terminal building from March 14.
(Normal operation hours: 08:00-20:00)
On March 14, Skymark and Spring Airlines are to start flight operations, but Asiana has canceled operation for the time being.

Yamagata Airport As the request of Yamagata Prefectural government, 24-hour operations were started from March 12.
(Normal operation hours: 08:00-19:30)
Scheduled flights are operated. 4 extra sections were operated on March 13.
No damage.

Aomori Airport (Normal operation hours: 07:30-21:30)
Scheduled flights are operated.
No damage.

Shonai Airport (Normal operation hours: 07:00-22:00)
Scheduled flights are operated.
No damage.

Akita Airport (Normal operation hours: 07:00-21:30)
Scheduled flights are operated.
No damage.

Niigata Airport (Normal operation hours: 07:30-20:30)
Scheduled flights are operated.
No damage.

Flights operation status Extra sections : March 14 20 flights, March 15 4 flights (as of 18:00, March 13)

Operation status of scheduled flights at airports in Tohoku area as of 22:00, March 13:
Flights cancelled: 121* flights → Akita 1, Hanamaki 10, Sendai 90, Fukushima 10, Ibaraki 8, Odate-Noshiro 2 flights

Sendai Airport on Friday

Sendai Airport is located adjacent to the coastline.

The following airlines have scheduled services to Sendai: Air China, Air Do, ANA, Asiana Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Continental Airlines, EVA Air, IBEX Airlines, JAL, JAL Express. Airlines serving the airport via codeshare include British Airways, KLM, Shenzhen Airlines and United Airlines.

Prior to the earthquake, ANA was the leading carrier at the airport, accounting for almost 60% of weekly seats.

The airport’s services were mostly domestic.

Click here for more information on Sendai Airport

Airline updates

Japan's earthquake and tsunami have resulted in international carriers issuing the following responses:

  • Air Canada: Cancelled four services to Japan on 11-Mar-2011. Air Canada said it has no reports of injuries to any of its staff in Japan;
  • Air France-KLM Group: Diverted a flight to Osaka and delayed take-off for another in Paris by four and half hours;
  • Air France-KLM Cargo: Stated it is gradually resuming operations to Japan as of 11-Mar-2011. The carrier stated it would factor in some capacity constraints over the next few days;
  • Air India: Cancelled Tokyo services on 11-Mar-2011 but stated services to Osaka Kansai would continue to operate as scheduled. The carrier operates four weekly services to Tokyo Narita and three weekly services to Osaka;
  • Air New Zealand: Will continue services to Tokyo Narita and Osaka Kansai as scheduled with only one flight being delayed;
  • American Airlines: Resumed normal flight schedules on 13-Mar-2011. American added that it has no plans to evacuate locally based employees;
  • Asiana Airlines: Cancelled services to Japan on 11-Mar-2011. The carrier added that it would supply relief items to north-eastern Japan this week. The carrier plans to send 1500 in-flight blankets, instant noodles, mineral water and other relief items via an Incheon-Fukushima flight on 14-Mar-2011. Since Saturday, Asiana has extended support for Japan’s quake relief operations by making available mineral water and instant noodles at its branch in Narita Airport;
  • British Airways: Cancelled its Narita and Haneda flights on 11-Mar-2011 and the return legs on 12-Mar-2011;
  • Cathay Pacific: Resumed services from Tokyo on 12-Mar-2011, operating 13 services. Six of the 13 services were scheduled services and several were services delayed from 11-Mar-2011 including two Narita-bound flights that were diverted on 11-Mar-2011 to Osaka and Nagoya. The carrier stated services to Tokyo are expected to operate according to normal schedule from 13-Mar-2011, with four direct services, one flight via Taipei to Narita and two flights to Haneda on 13-Mar-2011. Services were suspended on 11-Mar-2011.
  • Cebu Pacific: Stated it is maintaining most services to Japan as per its regular schedule;
  • China Eastern: Operated 44 services to/from Japan on 13-Mar-2011;
  • China Southern Airlines: Cancelled four flights between Tokyo and China on 12-Mar-2011 and halted services on 13-Mar-2011. China Southern flights to other Japanese cities, including Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, and Niigata, all maintained normal schedules on 13-Mar-2011.
  • Delta Air Lines: 29 flights were cancelled on 11-Mar-2011 to/from Tokyo. Delta operates nearly 60 daily services to/from Tokyo Narita and Haneda. The carrier is waiving change fees for customers whose flight plans have been affected. The carrier is rescheduling affected passengers. There are no reports of injuries to customers or employees at any Delta facility in Japan;
  • Emirates: Stated services between UAE and Tokyo have resumed and are departing as scheduled. Immediately following the earthquake air traffic between UAE and Tokyo was disrupted, with one service being diverted to Kansai, but resumed soon after;
  • Etihad: Stated services to Tokyo have resumed and are departing as scheduled. Immediately following the earthquake the air traffic between UAE and Tokyo was disrupted but resumed soon after;
  • FedEx Express: Resumed services to Tokyo Narita from 12-Mar-2011. The carrier however stated it expects ground service delays in eastern Japan. The company also stated that the vast majority of its team members have been accounted for;
  • Finnair: Resumed services to Japan on 12-Mar-2011. The Finnish Foreign Ministry has called on nationals to avoid unnecessary travel to Japan;
  • Garuda Indonesia: Stated no services from Indonesia to Japan have been affected;
  • Jetstar: Diverted two Tokyo-bound flights to Guam. All but nine of the more than 300 affected passengers have since been transported to Japan;
  • Korean Air Lines: Suspended services to Japan on 11-Mar-2011;
  • Lufthansa: Stated flight operations at Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo were stabilising from 13-Mar-2011.
  • Malaysian Airlines: Diverted one Tokyo-bound flight to Taipei on 11-Mar-2011 while services to Osaka operated as usual
  • MASkargo: Put an embargo on all shipments to Tokyo Narita on 11-Mar-2011;
  • Pakistan International Airlines: A service, which was about to depart Tokyo Narita when the earthquake struck, was delayed. The flight was later operated following the inspection of the runway at the airport;
  • Philippine Airlines: Stated most services to/from Japan were operational on 12-Mar-2011 and 13-Mar-2011. Services were cancelled on 11-Mar-2011;
  • Singapore Airlines: Two services en-route to Tokyo were diverted to Fukuoka and Haneda on 11-Mar-2011;
  • Thai Airways: The carrier, which operates to five destinations in Japan, cancelled services on 11-Mar-2011. The carrier stated the earthquake will affect revenues in 2011 as it operates several services to Japan;
  • Turkish Airlines: The carrier closed its Tokyo sales office. The carrier stated its Istanbul-Tokyo Narita services operated as scheduled on 11-Mar-2011 and 12-Mar-2011;
  • Qantas: Has resumed service to Japan. Services delayed on 11-Mar-2011 have since been operated;
  • United Continental Holdings: United cancelled 10 services and Continental cancelled one service on 11-Mar-2011. The carriers added that conditions at local airports are expected to lead to the delay or cancellation of certain flights to/from Japan, including at the carriers' hub at Narita. Other cities throughout Japan may also be affected. The carriers stated passengers are able to reschedule their itinerary without charge. Meanwhile, services from Guam to Sendai are cancelled indefinitely. The airline is trying to send Guam-Sendai passengers to other airports in Japan. The carrier has around 1000 employees at nine airports and offices in downtown Tokyo;
  • US State Department: Has advised against travel to Japan;
  • Virgin Atlantic: Cancelled its Tokyo service on 11-Mar-2011 only.

Want more analysis like this? CAPA Membership gives you access to all news and analysis on the site, along with access to many areas of our comprehensive databases and toolsets.
Find out more and take a free trial.