Japan asks airlines to halt new bookings as Olympic traffic rises

Japan Times -- Jul 17
CHIBA – The government has asked airlines to halt new bookings by the general public for flights arriving in Japan during the period when arrivals of athletes and delegation officials for the Tokyo Olympics increase, sources have said.

With one week to go until the start of the Tokyo Olympics, the transport ministry is seeking to limit the number of arrivals to smoothly conduct coronavirus testing and other border controls at five airports to prevent the spread of COVID-19, they said.

Arrivals of visitors related to the Olympics are expected to peak on Sunday.

The ministry has asked airlines to stop accepting new bookings for flights arriving at the five airports — Tokyo’s Haneda, Narita near the capital, Chubu in central Japan, Kansai in western Japan and Fukuoka in southwestern Japan — during busy times of the day from last Sunday to next Thursday, the sources said.

During especially congested times, even bookings for visitors related to the Olympics may be halted, while transit passengers are exempted from the request.

If there is an increase in reservations during the busy period despite the request to halt new bookings, the ministry may ask airlines for the reason and demand that they be canceled if it deems the airlines were not following the request.

- Japan Times