• Kyodo

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Japan Airlines plans to halt four weekly flights between Sendai and Honolulu this fall as part of restructuring measures to deal with a sharp fall in travelers in the wake of the severe acute respiratory syndrome scare, JAL President Katsuo Haneda said Tuesday.

Haneda told reporters after meeting Miyagi Gov. Shiro Asano that he informed Asano of the decision because the airline can no longer afford to maintain the unprofitable route.

“We cannot maintain the route with a cut in flights now that we are trying to make ourselves strong while considering selling aircraft and cutting jobs,” Haneda said.

JAL, a unit of Japan Airlines System Corp., has been considering halting unprofitable flights between Honolulu and the regional airports in Sapporo, Sendai, Niigata and Hiroshima to cut costs.

The airline is expected to announce formally the halt to services on the four routes as early as next month.