Continental to resume flights to quake-hit Sendai

Continental Airlines will resume flights to the quake-ravaged Japanese city of Sendai on October 2, the airline's parent company, United Continental Holdings, announced on Wednesday.

The return of twice-weekly flights between Sendai and Guam marks the first resumption of regular service by a foreign airline to Sendai Airport since it was damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, United said.

"I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone who worked together with us under such trying circumstances to restore flight operations," Jim Mueller, United's vice president for the Asia-Pacific region, said in a statement.

Sendai Airport was slammed by the wall of water that ravaged Japan's northeast coastline, with the facility badly damaged in a torrent of mud, water and debris that scattered planes from runways. It reopened in April after repairs.

The restoration of flights between Sendai and Guam, a US island territory in the Pacific, is still subject to government approval, United said.

Continental Airlines and United Airlines, owned by the holding company since their merger last October, together operate 169 flights per week to nine destinations in Japan.