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Taiwan's CAL and EVA suspend reservations for Japan flights amid Omicron fears

Passengers flying out of Japan will not be affected

CAL and EVA aircraft. 

CAL and EVA aircraft.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China Airlines (CAL) and EVA Air have stopped taking reservations for flights to Japan for December following a request from Tokyo to do so amid fears of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, reports said Wednesday (Dec. 1).

While the two airlines have stopped selling tickets, passengers who already booked flights between Taiwan and Japan in either direction will not be affected, CNA reported.

CAL said passengers could still book flights for December out of Japan, though its flight schedule might be subject to change depending on measures by the Japanese government and on demand. At present, no flights between Taiwan and Japan have been canceled, the carrier emphasized.

EVA said it was suspending the taking of bookings for flights into Japan between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, but outbound passengers and travelers scheduled to transit in Japan would not be affected. Changes in market conditions and measures by the Japanese authorities might lead to adjustments, but for the time being, all flights between Taiwan and Japan were operating as scheduled, according to EVA.

Japan has been tightening border controls as two cases of the Omicron variant were discovered inside the country. There is still uncertainty about the level of risk involved with the new variant, which was reportedly first discovered in southern Africa, leading to several countries barring flights from the region.