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Transportation

AirAsia Japan to suspend all flights for most of October

Three domestic routes to be rehalted as group CEO Fernandes rethinks plans

An AirAsia Japan plane taxis at Chubu Airport in central Japan. (Photo courtesy of AirAsia Japan)

TOKYO -- AirAsia Japan said on Wednesday it is suspending all flights from Oct. 1 to Oct. 24 due to less-than-expected demand caused by COVID-19.

Three domestic routes connecting the carrier's base in Chubu in central Japan to Sapporo, Sendai and Fukuoka will be suspended.

The low-cost carrier is offering refunds for tickets affected by the suspension. A company spokesperson said AirAsia Japan is still considering resumption of operations after October 24.

AirAsia Japan had resumed domestic flights last month after suspending flights from April due to the pandemic.

One international route connecting Chubu to Taiwan remains on hold since March.

Wednesday's decision underlines the reality facing the global aviation industry, despite new cases in Japan trending down in recent weeks.

In a recent interview with Reuters, AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said it is reviewing operations in Japan.

"I think Japan is something we have to really think hard about," he said. "If we had tons of cash, then it's something we would probably continue. I think we will have decisions on Japan very soon."

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