By Gina Tabonares-Reilly
Japan Airlines would have been marking the 51st anniversary of the airline's first flight between Tokyo and Guam on Oct. 1, but the persistent Covid-19 pandemic leaves no room for celebration.
The Japanese carrier announced today that its flight to Guam, which has been on pause since March last year, will remain suspended until Nov. 20.
Kyodo News reported that the Japanese government is leaning toward at least partially lifting the Covid-19 state of emergency covering 19 prefectures including Tokyo at the end of the month.
The Japanese media reported that nationwide infections in Japan peaked at around 25,000 per day in August, but have steadily declined since, with 1,767 new cases reported on Tuesday.
According to Kyodo News, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is inclined to ease restrictions for all the prefectures and is expected to announce a final decision at a task force meeting next week.
Japan had been Guam's main source market for tourism until the coronavirus pandemic prompted the border closures and suspension of flights last year.
Guam would have been celebrating the first time Japan Airlines aircraft flight 941 touched down at the Guam International Airport from Haneda airport on Oct. 1, 1970, bringing the first 189 passengers.