Weighty Problem: Sumo Wrestlers Force Japan Airlines to Add Extra Flight
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Weighty Problem: Sumo Wrestlers Force Japan Airlines to Add Extra Flight

Japan’s flagship airline was dealing with some extra baggage last week — and it had nothing to do with luggage.

Officials with Japan Airlines were forced to add an extra flight when two of its planes carrying sumo wrestlers were deemed too heavy to make flights from Tokyo and Osaka. The planes had been scheduled to fly to the southern island of Amami Oshima, where a sports festival was scheduled, The Japan News reported.

The additional flight on Thursday was arranged after officials determined that the two planes would be unable to carry sufficient amounts of fuel due to weight restrictions, according to The Guardian.

The 27 athletes, spread across the two Boeing 737-800 planes, weighed an average of 264 pounds, CNN reported. An airline spokesperson told the cable news outlet that the average weight on flights was 154 pounds.

Each plane has a normal passenger capacity of 165, The Japan News reported.

A Japan Airlines spokesperson told the Minami-Nippon Shimbun newspaper it was “extremely rare for us to operate special flights” due to weight restrictions, according to SkyNews.

The trip back from the festival was also a tight fit for the bulky athletes, CNN reported.

Three high school sumo wrestlers, weighing 308, 268 and 242 pounds, respectively, told TV Asahi that they sat next to each other on one of Sunday’s return flight to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, according to CNN.

“I think the middle seat was the toughest,” one wrestler 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.”

Approximately 460 sumo wrestlers visited the island to attend the competition, which began on Friday, according to The Japan News.

Source : WSOC