A Japan Airlines flight yesterday flew with owners and their pet dogs in the cabin on a special charter service.
The first ‘wan wan jet’ flight flew from Narita airport near Tokyo and flew domestically to Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan.
The Boeing 737 flew with about 60 owners and 30 dogs. The 860-mile flight takes approximately two hours.
The flight was part of a special three-day domestic tour where owners and their dogs will also get to stay together in a hotel and go sightseeing in rented cars. The price of the tour ranges from around 150,000 yen ($1,305) to 280,000 yen, depending on the number of participants.
When Japan Airlines launched the service in December, it was fully booked in around an hour.
In May 2016, All Nippon Airways (ANA) flew a similar service. 87 people traveled to Hokkaido Prefecture with 44 pets.
According to the Japan Pet Food Association (JPFA), 18.3% of Japanese households owned a pet in 2009: 12.3 million dogs and 10 million cats, up from 9.1 million and 6.2 million respectively in 1994. In fact, tThere are now more pets than children in Japan.
N.B. Image credit: Kyodo