Japan Airlines is offering to fly rescue workers free of charge to help relief efforts following Friday’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.
The move came as a third explosion occurred at the Fukushima nuclear plant about 250km north-east of Tokyo on Tuesday, which caused radiation levels to rise in the surrounding area.
The government ordered any inhabitants remaining in the 16km radius exclusion zone to evacuate immediately. The prime minister, Naoto Kan, has warned there is a very high risk of further radioactive material being released.
JAL said it was supporting the rescue and recovery process by providing free transport of relief goods and for aid personnel, as well as through a mileage donation scheme to raise funds to help victims of the disaster.
JAL will transport relief goods and supplies at no charge until April 15 on its domestic and international network.
The international airports to which relief supplies can be transported to are Haneda and Narita in Tokyo, Chubu in Nagoya and Kansai in Osaka.
JAL is offering to transport rescue team members for no charge at the request of the Japanese government and regional authorities.
“Personnel will be transported to and from Aomori, Akita, Misawa, Yamagata and Niigata while transport to Hanamaki airport may later be possible depending on the situation at the airport,” the airline said.