Sendai (Japan): A Commercial aircraft landed in Sendai on Wednesday for the first time since the city’s busy airport was crippled by the powerful tsunami that smashed into Japan last month.

The opening will provide a boost to an area constrained by road closures and limited train services, which has also hindered the relief effort.

A Japan Airlines (JAL) plane from Tokyo's Haneda airport touched down on the runway around 8:00 am local time and was greeted by staff as it taxied towards the terminal building.

JAL and competitor All Nippon Airlines (ANA) will run six shuttle flights a day between Sendai, the largest city in the devastated northeast of Japan, and Tokyo or Osaka.

The terminal building was flooded and fires erupted in the car park and in aircraft hangars.

Teams of US service personnel who specialise in re-opening stricken air strips arrived at the airport a few days after the tsunami hit.

After clearing the runway of debris they began using the airport to ferry in the relief supplies by C-130 Hercules transport planes.

Tomiko Yoshida, who was on the first flight said vast areas of destruction around the airport could still be seen as the plane came into land.

(Agencies)