ANA, JAL see reservations jump as Japan eases COVID entry curbs

Nikkei -- Sep 08

Japanese travelers are flocking to international flights now that the government has eased its once-tough COVID restrictions on reentering the country from abroad.

All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines are seeing a major uptick in reservations, with new bookings for international flights in October roughly doubling after the government first announced its plans.

The Japanese government on Wednesday increased the cap for daily arrivals to 50,000 people from 20,000. It also scrapped its requirement for proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of departure in certain cases, lowering the hurdle for overseas business travel.

ANA saw a swift increase in reservations for international flights after the government announced the changes on Aug. 24. Average daily bookings for October flights departing Japan, in particular, increased 2.7 times in the week through Monday from mid-August.

Meanwhile, new JAL bookings for flights out of Japan increased 6.6 times during the same week, compared with mid-August. Many were business travelers, or Japanese living abroad make visits home. ...continue reading