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As Borders Reopen for Travel, Japanese Airline ANA Will Increase International Flights

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Thursday that the country will be easing its border controls from October 11th. This will include ending the daily arrival cap and allowing tourists to enter without visas.

September 23, 2022
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All Nippon Airways Co. is increasing its international flights and cabin staff numbers to meet an anticipated jump in demand when Japan abolishes Covid border controls next month. This will allow the airline to provide better service to its customers and ensure that they can travel safely and comfortably.

"We are very excited to finally be able to ease some of the restrictions," said Chief Executive Officer Shinichi Inoue. "We want to welcome visitors from all over the world with increased flights."

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Thursday that the country will be easing its border controls from October 11th. This will include ending the daily arrival cap and allowing tourists to enter without visas.

Covid has had a devastating effect on Japan's tourism industry -- last year, there were only about 246,000 foreign visitors, compared with a record 31.9 million in 2019.

ANA's position has improved as virus curbs gradually eased globally, helping narrow its fiscal first-quarter operating loss to 1.32 billion yen ($9.3 million) from 64.6 billion yen a year earlier. The airline carried 330,796 passengers internationally in July, up from 197,571 in April. This is a positive sign for the company as it continues to recover from the pandemic.

ANA's international flight schedule for August shows that it offers 710 flights per week to 36 cities. While the airline has not specified how many additional flights will be added, it has said that it plans to increase North American flights to approximately 90% of pre-pandemic levels by October 30. According to Inoue, there has been strong demand for flights to Honolulu and Singapore.

He said that the weakness of the yen will also help drive inbound travel. The Japanese currency has tumbled about 23% against the dollar this year, prompting a rare government intervention Thursday. This makes travel to Japan more affordable for foreigners, which is likely to boost tourism.

The decision to relax border controls was welcomed by citizens, including Takamasa Hattori, 27, who is looking forward to being reunited with his Indonesian partner in Japan as early as October. "I'm very excited," Hattori said.

Japan Airlines is preparing for a recovery as well. "We want to contribute to revitalizing the Japanese economy by being fully prepared to welcome foreign visitors," it said in a statement Thursday.

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