National

Some international flights resume at typhoon-hit Kansai International Airport

Kyodo

Some international flights at Kansai International Airport resumed Saturday following the closure of the main gateway to the region after a powerful typhoon hit the area on Tuesday.

The first flight — operated by All Nippon Airways — took off for Shanghai. It is still unknown when the country’s third-busiest airport, which sits on a man-made island in Osaka Bay, will fully resume international flights.

A total of 14 international flights — 12 by low-cost carrier Peach Aviation and two by All Nippon Airways — were expected to depart from and arrive at the airport on Saturday.

While ANA will resume flights to and from Shanghai, Peach plans to resume flights bound for Hong Kong, Seoul, Busan, Taipei and Shanghai.

The airport resumed domestic flights on Friday.

Only one of the two runways is currently in operation, with the other flooded by Typhoon Jebi, which cut a swathe through the region.

The airport has seen growing numbers of travelers from elsewhere in Asia in recent years, with around 80,000 passengers using the facility on an average day.

In addition to the flooded runway, the bridge that links the airport to the mainland was damaged when a tanker smashed into it after being ripped from its mooring by strong winds and high waves.

The operator has reopened undamaged lanes of the bridge, which provides the only road and rail access to the airport, to designated vehicles, including buses, operating between the airport and cities in surrounding areas.