We’ve known for quite some time that Japan Airlines has plans to introduce a low-cost carrier for long-haul routes. However, we may be able to get excited about the idea that this carrier will be ready to go before the 2020 Olympics arrive in Tokyo. One piece of promising news so far has been that Japan Airlines recently announced that it has plans to connect to 500 destinations by April of next year. There is no doubt that the carrier will need to assign at least some of those destinations to its new budget offshoot. We now have some breaking news that is making it obvious that Japan Airlines intends to make cheaper long-haul flights available just in time for the games. This has actually been the biggest week so far in terms of leaks regarding the new carrier. We even know what the carrier is going to be called.
What do we know so far about the budget carrier that Japan Airlines is planning to unleash on the Asian aviation market?
Japan Airlines is investing around $200 million in its new offshoot carrier. We also know that the new carrier’s fleet will be based out of Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. It was announced on March 8 that the carrier will be called ZIPAIR Tokyo when it launches. ZIPAIR will begin operating with just two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner planes. However, nothing else has been revealed about what to expect in terms of the flight experience with the carrier.
What do we know about the start date?
The tentative plan right now is for ZIPAIR Tokyo to begin offering flights next summer. However, no specific date for a maiden flight has been given just yet. What has been revealed is that the airline will begin by connecting Narita with Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and Incheon International Airport just outside of Seoul. Plans will then be looked at for expanding service to destinations in North America and Europe.
Although Japan Airlines already has a low-cost offshoot carrier that provides low-cost options, Jetstar Japan only handles short-haul routes and medium-haul routes. ZIPAIR will fill in what Japan Airlines perceives to be a gap when it comes to offering low-cost tickets for long-haul flights. ZIPAIR is being set up to compete directly against an airline called Peach that is an arm of All Nippon Airways. Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways are fierce rivals in the Asian market.
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