JAL Schedules Extra Flight to Disperse Sumo Wrestlers Due to Weight Restrictions

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Japan Airlines aircraft at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport

An additional Japan Airlines flight was added to schedules on Thursday after it was found that a number of sumo wrestlers were booked to travel to attend an event on Amami Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture.

According to JAL, a number of sumo wrestlers had reserved seats on two flights departing from Haneda Airport in Tokyo and Itami Airport in Osaka Prefecture. The wrestlers were set to attend a sumo competition at the Special National Sports Festival on the island. However, after calculating that each wrestler weighed about 120 kilograms, there were concerns that both flights would be unable to carry the required amount of fuel due to weight restrictions. Both aircraft were Boeing 737-800s with a capacity of 165 passengers.

Because it is difficult for large aircraft to take off and land from Amami Airport, the airline decided to add a special flight from Haneda to help disperse passenger numbers. Fourteen people were asked to fly from Itami to Haneda so they could join the special flight.

A total of 27 passengers flew aboard the additional flight. According to the airliner, it was “rare” for an extra flight to be added because of weight restrictions.

About 460 sumo wrestlers visited the island to attend the competition that began on Friday.