Flights Resume at Tokyo's Narita Airport After Earthquake Strands 13,800

Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, Japan’s main overseas gateway, said nine flights would leave today as carriers begin clearing a backlog of about 13,800 travelers stranded by delays following an earthquake.

No planes will land at the airport, Shohei Kagawa, a spokesman, said by telephone. It has yet been decided what services will operate tomorrow, he said. There was no visible damage to runways, Ryoko Yabe, a spokeswoman, said earlier.

Tokyo’s Haneda airport, Asia’s second-busiest by passengers, resumed flights after an initial shutdown following the 2:46 p.m. earthquake, the nation’s biggest in at least a century. Japan Airlines Corp. and All Nippon Airways Co. canceled at least 292 flights nationwide, affecting more than 60,000 travelers, following the magnitude 8.9 quake, which also forced the suspension of Tokyo subway and bullet-train services.

“It is likely that flights to Japan may continue to be affected in the coming days,” Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. said in an e-mailed statement. The carrier advised passengers to check its website before traveling.

China Southern Airlines Co., the nation’s largest carrier, canceled four Tokyo flights for tomorrow and halted ticket sales for services on March 13, it said in an e-mailed statement.

British Airways canceled its Narita and Haneda flights today and the return legs tomorrow, Cathy West, a spokeswoman, said by phone. Air France-KLM (AF) Group diverted a flight to Osaka and delayed takeoff for another in Paris by four and half hours, it said by e-mail.

Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN)’s Jetstar budget unit diverted two Tokyo-bound flights to Guam and Malaysian Airline System Bhd. (MAS) sent one to Taipei.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Cooper in Tokyo at ccooper1@bloomberg.net; Kiyotaka Matsuda in Tokyo at kmatsuda@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at ndenslow@bloomberg.net

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