Sendai Airport reopened for commercial flights Wednesday as a Japan Airlines flight touched down with about 120 passengers from Haneda Airport in Tokyo.
The first commercial flight since the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami is expected to give a boost to reconstruction efforts.
JAL and rival All Nippon Airways will offer a total of six roundtrip flights -- four from Haneda Airport and two from Itami Airport in Osaka, western Japan -- every day until April 20 on a temporary basis. They have yet to decide on their flight plans for April 21 and later.
Sendai Airport is the last local airport in the northeastern part of the country to resume commercial flight services after the twin natural disasters.
One week after the tsunami, the 11 other local airports in the northeastern part of the country had reopened for both disaster-related and ordinary purposes.
Sendai Airport, which suffered particularly serious damage, had been available only to Japanese and U.S. military aircraft carrying relief supplies.
About 2.8 million passengers arrived at or departed from Sendai Airport in the twelve months to March of last year, according to figures from the government of Miyagi Prefecture.
Sendai Airport is now expected to reopen fully for commercial flights, including international ones, around September.
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