Taiwan’s CAL, EVA expand service to earthquake-hit northern Japan

CAL and EVA add flights, use larger airplanes to help Taiwanese tourists depart Hokkaido

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Long queues at New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido.

Long queues at New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan's two main airlines, China Airlines (CAL) and EVA Air have increased their services to earthquake-hit northern Japan, in a bid to meet high demand as New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido reopens, the Taiwan Ministry of Transport and Communication said on Sept. 8

Both airlines will use larger than usual airplanes and add more flights, freeing up an additional 1,000 seats, according to CNA.

Japanese authorities said that at most recent count, 30 people died and nine are still missing after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck northern Japan in the early hours of Sept. 6.

New Chitose Airport near Sapporo was closed for international traffic on Sept.6-7 in response to the earthquake, affecting thousands of passengers. Around 90 international flights are expected to depart the airport today, reported The Mainichi of Japan.

It is expected that around 2,000 Taiwanese tourists will return to Taiwan from northern Japan today. Both CAL and EVA will fly one additional flight departing New Chitose Airport this evening.

Taiwan's Representative to Japan, Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) also requested CAL fly additional flights to northern Japan on Sunday, reports say.