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JAL to cut flights to India due to swine flu

June 16, 2009 11:49 IST

Japan Airlines Corp on Tuesday said it will cut the number of flights it operates on eight international routes, including to Delhi this summer due to flagging demand amid the global economic downturn and the spread of the new strain of influenza.

JAL plans to reduce the number of flights it operates on five routes linking Narita Airport with Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul and Delhi. It will also cut the number of flights on two routes linking Osaka's Kansai International Airport with Shanghai and Seoul.

The number of flights on the routes will be reduced from July or August to October 24. However, the airline did not say how many fights will be cut under the new schedule.

JAL's decision came after the government relaxed a rule allowing for the withdrawal next year of arrival and departure slots for international flights in the event of low levels of usage.

The ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism announced last week it has suspended the rule in the face of declining demand for air travel and cargo due to the economic downturn and the new-flu outbreak.

The suspension of the rule means that airlines will be able to reduce or suspend flights on routes facing flagging demand without having to worry about whether they will lose slots, the report said.

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