Japan air travel plunges

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

HONOLULU and TOKYO (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii arrivals on flights from Japan are down 13.1 percent since March began, compared to the same days last year.

The traffic Hawaii is getting is a mix of visitors, returning locals, and evacuees, according to airline officials and friends of those who are being evacuated to Hawaii.

International arrivals to Hawaii topped 5,000 on four days in the period March 1-10 but have not hit that level once since the earthquake and tsunami March 11.

There were only 484 arrivals on flights from Japan that day, and since then the daily count has been down several hundred a day from normal levels for this time of year.

There were 3,788 arrivals from Japan on Wednesday.

Japan air connections are being disrupted as European airlines move flight crew overnights from Tokyo to other cities. British Airways is overnighting crew in Hong Kong; Alitalia in Seoul; Air France has moved all its Tokyo flights to Osaka.

Delta Air Lines announced Thursday it's suspending its flights to Tokyo Haneda, but it's still serving Tokyo Narita, which is actually closer to the radiation zone.

The State Department issued an advisory Thursday urging U.S. nationals to stay 50 miles away from the radiation zone.

France sent planes to Japan to evacuate French nationals altogether. China has been bringing Chinese nationals to Tokyo from the radiation zone. Australia called on Australian nationals with non-essential roles to leave Japan.

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