The Guardian reports Japan Airlines added an additional ad-hoc flight to their schedule after a group of sumo rikishi inadvertently created a potential weight hazard.
Sumo Group Accidentally Weighs Down Scheduled JAL Flights
The issue took place during the week of October 9, 2023, as the group of sumo wrestlers were traveling aboard the flag carrier to a sports festival south of Osaka. The men were spread across two different flights traveling from Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) to Osaka International Airport (ITM).
The group were scheduled to fly across two Boeing 737-800 airframes, but during pre-flight checks the night before, the airline ran into a significant problem. With each sumo wrestler weighing at or over an estimated 264 pounds, the aircraft would be overweight and unable to carry enough fuel. Moreover, the flights couldn’t be transferred to bigger aircraft, as Osaka International Airport would be challenged to accommodate a larger flight.
As a result, Japan Airlines stepped in to add an additional flight for the sumo wrestlers who would be unable to make the flight. In total, 27 wrestlers were accommodated on the special arrangements, including a group of 14 who took a special trip to Tokyo Haneda Airport to travel to the sports festival. The airline also added the third flight to return the wrestlers home once the event ended.
In speaking to a local newspaper, the airline said that the situation was “extremely unusual,” as they do not often need additional flights due to weight restrictions on aircraft. It is unclear how often the airline accommodates or accounts for the larger passengers on flights.
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Source: frugal travel guy