The Japanese Athletes Who Were Put On A Special Flight Because Of “Unusual” Safety Concerns

They were separated from the rest.

Several athletes from Japan were given special attention due to their weight.

Last October, a group of 27 sumo wrestlers were planning to travel from Tokyo and Osaka to Amami Ōshima to attend the Special National Sports Festival. Getting there would require either a 25 hour drive or a two hour plane ride.


Though athletes in general are not classified any differently from other passengers, the airline raised concerns for this specific group.

Sumo wrestlers | NZ Herald

Japan Airlines calculated that the average weight of the wrestlers was 264.55 lbs (120 kg) each which was 100 lbs (45 kg) more than the typical passenger. The 27 sumo wrestlers weighed 7,142 lbs (3,239 kg) altogether.

Sumo wrestlers on a flight in 2014 | tokyodesu

Authorities were worried that the plane they were originally booked for was carrying an insufficient amount of fuel to safely transport the wrestlers and the other passengers. Thus, they decided to add an additional flight to the schedule for the first time.

It was an “extremely unusual” move on their part, and they admitted that the extreme weight restrictions was a unique concern.

It is extremely unusual for us to operate special flights due to the weight restrictions on this aircraft.

 Airline Representative


A total of 460 sumo wrestlers ended up attending the Special National Sports Festival.

Source: Daily Star

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