• Kyodo News

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Japan Airlines Corp. will reduce flights on eight international routes this summer to deal with the drop in demand stemming from the global economic slump and swine flu pandemic.

JAL plans to reduce flights on five routes linking Narita International Airport to Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul and Delhi, and on two routes linking Kansai International Airport in Osaka with Shanghai and Seoul.

In addition, flights will be cut from Haneda airport in Tokyo to Hong Kong.

The reductions will start in July or August and run until Oct. 24.

JAL made the decision after the government relaxed a rule requiring airlines to use all arrival and departure slots allotted for international flights, regardless of business conditions.

The rule was suspended last week by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry in the face of declining demand for air travel and cargo services.

The suspension of the rule for summer timetables from March 29 to Oct. 24 means airlines will be able to reduce or suspend flights on routes with flagging demand without having to worry about losing their coveted slots.

All Nippon Airways Co. is also considering reducing international flights.

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