Domestic flyers surge during year-end, New Year holidays in Japan

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Aircraft of Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The number of passengers on domestic flights offered by Japanese airlines during the year-end and New Year’s holiday period jumped 91.4% from a year before to 3,159,000.

During the period between Dec. 25 and Tuesday, the number of passengers on international flights also increased, by 79.1% to some 64,000, data from the airlines showed Wednesday.

According to Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, domestic flights to the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, the southwestern region of Kyushu and the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa attracted hefty demand.

The number of passengers flying to these areas recovered to some 70-90% of the levels two years ago before the COVID-19 outbreak, the Japanese airlines said. Many people are believed to have spent their holidays in their hometowns or enjoyed leisure trips.

Meanwhile, the number of international flight passengers remained low, at some 8-9% of the level two years ago, reflecting entry restrictions imposed following the spread of the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.

Separately, four major Japanese expressway operators said Wednesday that the daily average number of vehicles which used 40 sections of expressways operated by the firms across the country between Dec. 28 and Tuesday rose 44% from a year before to 35,200.

The figure was down only 8% from the level two years ago before the pandemic.