MORIKA, IWATE PREF. – Sendai Airport partially resumed domestic flight operations Wednesday after it was submerged by a tsunami following last month’s massive earthquake, with a Japan Airlines flight arriving from Tokyo’s Haneda airport in the morning.
The opening of the airport is expected to make it easier for volunteers and others from Tokyo and its vicinity as well as western Japan to visit disaster-hit areas and to accelerate relief activities there.
Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airlines will run a combined six shuttle flights per day between the airport and Haneda as well as Itami airport serving Osaka during daytime, airport authorities said.
The commercial operations of the airport were suspended after the March 11 quake-tsunami disaster caused severe damage to the control tower and terminal building.
After undergoing some restoration work, the airport has been used by aircraft of the Self-Defense Forces and U.S. military to transport relief supplies.
Meanwhile, East Japan Railway Co. resumed early Wednesday bullet train services between Shin-Aomori Station in Aomori Prefecture and Morioka Station in Iwate Prefecture on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line after suspension following the magnitude 9.0 quake.
JR East restarted bullet train services between Shin-Aomori and Ichinoseki Station in Iwate Prefecture on March 22 but suspended the service following a strong aftershock on April 7.
JR East said it plans to resume bullet train services between Morioka and Ichinoseki around April 24, and between Sendai and Fukushima around April 27, while planning on resuming services between Ichinoseki and Sendai in early May. This will enable journeys on the entire stretch of the Tohoku Shinkansen Line between Shin-Aomori and Tokyo.