Flooded Kansai Airport to Resume Domestic Services on September 7

Japan’s Kansai International Airport (KIX) is set to resume domestic services from its undamaged Terminal 2 “late on Friday [7th]”.  It is unclear when international services will return but some observers predict it will be early next week.

For the time being the airport remains closed after being flooded when the Category 2 ‘Super Typhoon’ Jebi struck Japan in the early hours of September 4.  Reports say at least seven people were killed as winds of up to 135mph (216km/h) swept across western Japan. Thankfully, no fatalities were reported at the airport but up to 3,000 passengers and personnel were temporarily stranded when the airport was cut off from the mainland after a 2,500-ton ship broke free from its moorings and repeatedly struck the only bridge that links the airport to the mainland.

Airport officials held a press conference on September 5 during which they apologised to passengers that had had to stay there overnight.  The airport said it was working hard to restore services but, at that stage, it was too early to accurately predict when it would be ready to accept commercial services again.  Approximately 400 flights operate through KIX on a normal day, serving the city of Osaka and beyond.

On the same day, Government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga said everything possible was being done to restore things to normal but added that it could take several days to a week to reopen Kansai airport.  This was subsequently changed to Friday September 7 for domestic services.