Japan Withdraws Request for Flight Bookings Halt
Tokyo, Dec. 2 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government Thursday withdrew the transport ministry's request that airlines stop accepting new reservations for passenger flights to the country amid the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The withdrawal came after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida ordered the ministry to review the measure amid mounting criticism that the suspension would make it difficult for Japanese nationals to return from abroad.
The government plans to allow airlines to accept new reservations from expatriates for flights mainly during weeks and days where there are relatively few passengers, up to the cap on the daily number of entrants to the country of 3,500.
Speaking to reporters, transport minister Tetsuo Saito apologized for bringing confusion to Japanese nationals planning to return home during the year-end and New Year holidays.
The ministry on Monday asked Japanese and foreign airlines to stop accepting all new bookings for passenger flights to Japan this month, considering that December is a busy season and that the number of reservations could exceed the entrance cap.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]