Flights from China to Japan steadily increasing amid rising demand
Published: Apr 04, 2023 12:53 AM
A Boeing 787 aircraft belonging to Japan Airlines Photo: VCG

A Boeing 787 aircraft belonging to Japan Airlines Photo: VCG

Airlines are steadily increasing their routes between China and Japan to meet rising demand. Hainan Airlines said on Monday it plans to resume the route from Xi'an to Tokyo from April 12, and the frequency will be increased to three times per week starting on May 2 from once per week.

China Southern Airlines said on Saturday that it will gradually resume several routes from Chinese cities to Tokyo and Osaka in Japan from April 1 due to rising demand and the recovery of the travel market. The routes to Japan operated by China Southern will reach 64 flights per week.

Japanese airline All Nippon Airways also said it will restart its connections from Beijing and Shanghai to Tokyo from April 1. The route between two airports in Shanghai and Tokyo will offer one flight per day, and the route to Beijing will be increased to daily flights from April 10.

In an interview with the Global Times in March, Yasuyuki Sato, executive officer and China chief with Japan Airlines (JAL) said that Japan is looking forward to receiving more Chinese tourists.

JAL will increase the current direct flights between Tokyo Haneda and Shanghai Pudong to two round-trips per day from March 26, and will resume the non-stop flight between Tokyo Haneda and Shanghai Hongqiao, which has been suspended for three years.

From May 8, Shanghai Pudong-Osaka flights will return to six flights per week, followed by the resumption of four flights per week from Tianjin to Nagoya. From July 1, there will be a new flight between Shanghai Pudong and Tokyo Haneda.

Japan will ease its border control measures for travelers from the Chinese mainland from Wednesday, giving them the option of entering the country by presenting proof of three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, a spokesman for the Japan government said Monday, according to the Kyodo News.

But Chinese people are still finding that getting travel visas is more difficult than in previous years before the epidemic.

In the past, travelers to Japan could apply for a single-entry visa with a deposit of 100,000 yuan, but now it needs tax proof of more than 8,000 yuan per year, an employee surnamed Xu told the Global Times on Monday, so the requirements for applicants' assets are higher.

The process of providing tourist visas to Japan is still recovering, and it will get better in April, Guan Jian, spokesperson from the GZL International Travel Service under Guangdong-based Lingnan Commercial and Tourism Group, told the Global Times on Monday.

China on March 10 unveiled a second list of 40 destinations for which travel agencies and online tourism services providers can offer group tours from March 15.

China's outbound group travel market was halted in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the country has optimized its pandemic response, it rolled out a pilot program to resume outbound travel to a first group of 20 countries from February 6 this year, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Currently, Japan is not in the list of 60 destinations in the circular released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.