July 16, 2008

2 Governors Urge JAL to Keep Local Services

Tokyo, July 16 (Jiji Press)--The governors of two Japanese prefectures, Fukushima and Okinawa, on Wednesday visited the head office of Japan Airlines to urge the company to rethink its plan to scrap three domestic routes.

Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato and Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima met with JAL President Haruka Nishimatsu to make the request.

JAL is currently considering ending all of its services to and from Fukushima Airport, northeast of Tokyo, including flights between Fukushima and the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa, in response to surging fuel costs.

Sato and Nakaima told Nishimatsu that there would be a grave impact on the future development of their prefectures if JAL actually ended the three domestic routes.

Nishimatsu, however, indicated that maintaining the local services is difficult because the company's operations have been hit by high fuel prices.

In fiscal 2007, JAL flights from Fukushima Airport to Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, had an occupancy rate of 62.1 pct.END

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