Japan's Kansai Airport to reopen partially on Friday after typhoon damage

Stranded passengers staying overnight at the Kansai International Airport due to typhoon Jebi, on Sept 5, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - Japan's Kansai International Airport, which was shut down after Typhoon Jebi flooded the facility, will reopen partially on Friday (Sept 7), helping airlines to gradually resume services.

Japan's third-largest airport by traffic numbers will open one terminal, and ANA Holdings Inc's low-fare unit Peach will be the first to start flights, Mr Yoshiyuki Yamatani, president of the airport operator, said in Osaka on Thursday (Sept 6).

Kansai airport is the gateway to the Osaka region and lags behind only the Haneda and Narita facilities that serve Tokyo.

The airport is a key transport and cargo hub, and lies on an artificial island in Osaka Bay. It was almost directly in the typhoon's path and was forced to close after its runways were flooded and a tanker smashed into the road and rail bridge linking the airport to the mainland.

Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Japanese carriers were among those who cancelled hundreds of flights because of the airport shutdown.

Mr Yamatani also said that the plan was to reopen Runway B and Terminal No. 2 for domestic flights

There was no clarity as yet on the reopening of Runway A and Terminal No. 1, as flood damage was high.

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No date was set for full resumption of the bridge linking the airport to the mainland, which was damaged after it was hit by a tanker during the typhoon. Inbound and outbound cars will use the undamaged side of the bridge for now.

Mr Yamatani added that the restoration of Runway A and the damaged bridge are the main factors delaying the resumption of international flights.

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