SINGAPORE: More than 10 flights to and from Japan this weekend by Singapore carriers have been affected by delays and cancellations, as Japan braced for a storm that could be the strongest to hit its capital in 60 years.
Typhoon Hagibis is due to make landfall on the main island of Honshu on Saturday (Oct 12), and is expected to bring record rainfall and gusts of up to 216kmh, said Japan's meteorological agency.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) said several of its flights have been affected, with four flights departing ahead of schedule before the typhoon makes landfall.
Affected SIA flight routes include Los Angeles-Narita, Singapore-Kansai, Kansai-Singapore, Singapore-Nagoya and Nagoya-Singapore.
"We will provide further updates on flights serving Tokyo Haneda, and Tokyo Narita airports when we have more available information," said SIA in an advisory on its website.
The airline's low-cost arm Scoot said it has cancelled eight flights and retimed another seven. Flights to and from Tokyo and Osaka were cancelled, with customers re-accommodated to flights scheduled on Sunday and Monday.
Some of its flights to Kaohsiung and Taipei in Taiwan have also been delayed or cancelled.
Scoot said it is monitoring the situation for subsequent flights, and will notify customers by SMS or email for updates.
"As the situation remains fluid, customers are encouraged to prepare for possible contingencies in their travel plans, including purchasing travel insurance, during this period," the airline said.
The storm is expected to cause transport chaos over a holiday weekend in Japan, with many forced to cancel travel plans.
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Japan's two main airlines, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, have cancelled hundreds of domestic flights. Bullet train services and local rail lines have also been suspended.
The storm has also disrupted a Formula One Grand Prix and rugby's World Cup.
Japan is hit by around 20 typhoons a year, though the capital is not usually badly affected.
Hagibis is bearing down on the region just weeks after another powerful storm, Typhoon Faxai, hit the area with similar strength, killing two and causing major damage in Chiba, east of the capital.
More than 36,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in Chiba, and the local government has urged those in damaged buildings to take shelter elsewhere during the storm.