SINGAPORE — A man was slated to fly to Japan in March to see the cherry blossoms but found out that his flight was cancelled nine days before his departure.
The reason? A "delay in the introduction of aircraft", according to the airline.
The accountant, who wanted to be known as Mr Wang, told Chinese-language newspaper Shin Min Daily News that he had booked a Zipair Tokyo flight to Tokyo in December 2022.
Established in 2018, the airline is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan Airlines.
The 42-year-old was looking forward to his trip on March 20 until he was informed that his flight had been cancelled.
According to Zipair Tokyo's website, six flights from March 15 to 21 have been cancelled. These include flights between Singapore and Tokyo as well as between Honolulu and Tokyo. The notice was made on March 10.
It also said: "Customers with confirmed reservations on affected flights will be provided a refund. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause our valued customers."
The airline uses the Boeing 787-8 aircraft and operates flights to places including Bangkok, Seoul and Los Angeles. The Straits Times' checks show that flights between Tokyo and places like Singapore and Honolulu are still operational as of Friday (March 17).
ST has contacted Zipair Tokyo for more information.
Mr Wang said that the airline promised to refund the ticket but would not bear the additional costs of alternative arrangements made by the affected passengers. His original flight cost $325.
Due to the flight cancellation, he said he had to fork out close to $1,000 more to cover the cost of another ticket, another night of accommodation and other transport arrangements.
He added that he spent about $725 — more than double the price of his original flight — for the new flight, as March is a peak period in Japan because of its cherry blossom season.
He also said that he had bought travel insurance, but the insurance company said it would not bear the costs, as the airline would refund the money.
ALSO READ: 'Stranded' in New Zealand: Singapore tour group blames travel agency for flight cancelled by airline
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.