POSTED: 01:01 a.m. HST, Mar 11, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 01:12 a.m. HST, Mar 11, 2011
Tokyo's Narita Airport, Japan's main international gateway, canceled all flights for the rest of the day after the country was hit by the world's strongest earthquake in six years.
About 13,800 passengers were stranded because of the shutdown, Ryoko Yabe, a spokeswoman for the airport said by phone. There was no visible damage to runways, she said. Tokyo's Haneda airport, Asia's second-busiest by passengers, resumed flights, the transport ministry said.
All Nippon Airways Co., Japan's largest listed carrier, has canceled 131 flights nationwide, affecting 32,700 passengers, and diverted another 24, it said in a faxed statement. Japan Airlines Corp. said at least 27 flights were affected by the quake.
"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.
Qantas' Jetstar budget unit diverted two Tokyo-bound flights to Guam and Malaysian Airline System Bhd. sent one to Taipei.
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. Qantas Airways Ltd. may cancel a Sydney-Tokyo service later today, said Thomas Woodward, a spokesman.
Osaka's Kansai International Airport, located about 250 miles southwest of Tokyo, is operating normally after the quake, said spokesman Naoya Tani.