Japan's two major airlines are cutting domestic flights again in September. That's because rising coronavirus infections are putting a renewed damper on travel around the country.
All Nippon Airways says it will reduce its scheduled domestic flights by 45 percent next month. That's a 20 percentage-point increase in the number of flights cut compared to August. Some of the busiest routes, including between Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Osaka and Sapporo, are among those affected.
Japan Airlines also plans to halt 43 percent of its domestic flights in the first half of September. That's a 15 percentage-point expansion of cancellations from this month.
The two carriers scrapped up to 80 percent of their domestic flights in May, when a state of emergency was in place over COVID-19. After the government lifted the declaration late that same month, people started traveling more, and the airlines gradually eased their cancellations.
But infections are on the rise again across Japan. Domestic flights were less than 40 percent full during the usually busy holiday season in mid-August. And the carriers say they are not getting many reservations for September.