In a surprising turn of events, an airline faced an unusual predicament when it encountered unexpected passengers at two airports in Japan.
Over two dozen sumo wrestlers arrived with the intention of flying to Amami Oshima, an island located in the far south of the country.
The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported that the wrestlers were en route to participate in a competition taking place on the island. They made their way to Haneda airport in Tokyo and Itami airport in Osaka, hoping to board the Boeing 737-800 flights.
However, the airline expressed concerns about the potential excess weight. They feared that it might hinder the aircraft’s ability to take off.
Faced with this unprecedented situation, the airline took the extraordinary step of arranging dedicated flights exclusively for the sumo wrestlers. Though unusual, this decision ensured a safe and smooth journey for all parties involved.
In a local television interview, a spokesperson for the Gunma wrestlers said: “I was joking about the possible weight concerns, but it actually turned into a problem. We had great support, although we are a little tired.”
Reports from The Guardian highlighted that Amami’s airport has shorter runways compared to other ports. This fact raised concerns that the aircraft might encounter difficulties during takeoff with the added weight on the return journey.
A spokesperson from Japan Airlines shared with local media outlet Minami-Nippon Shimbun, “It is extremely unusual for us to operate special flights due to the weight restrictions on this aircraft.”
According to the Daily Mail, the airline typically accommodates passengers weighing around 70 kilograms. The arrival of the sumo wrestlers marked a significant departure from their usual clientele.
Japan Airlines went the extra mile to arrange a series of special flights, ensuring the sumo wrestlers could return to their respective homes without further complications.
The sports festival of Amami Oshima holds a special place in Japan’s calendar. Reportedly, over 450 athletes make the journey to the small island to compete in a wide range of sports.
Sumo wrestling is a revered sport deeply rooted in Japanese culture. It involves two wrestlers facing off in a compact ring, aiming to push their opponent beyond the ring’s boundaries for victory.