Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 August 2019

Japan Airlines' ZIPAIR low-cost carrier to start flights next year

Carrier will serve Bangkok and Seoul in summer of 2020

Japan Airlines (JAL) names its low cost carrier ZIPAIR and aims to tap growing Asian demand for budget air travel.. / AFP PHOTO / Kazuhiro NOGI
Japan Airlines (JAL) names its low cost carrier ZIPAIR and aims to tap growing Asian demand for budget air travel.. / AFP PHOTO / Kazuhiro NOGI

Japan Airlines on Friday named its new low-cost carrier ZIPAIR and said it will connect Narita airport near Tokyo with Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi and Incheon airport near Seoul next year, as demand for budget air travel grows in Asia.

The operator of the low-cost carrier service offering medium to long-haul flights, ZIPAIR Tokyo, said it aimed to eventually offer trans-Pacific and European flights as well, and to turn profitable in two years after the maiden flight in summer 2020.

ZIPAIR plans to start operating with two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners.

Japan Airlines, which operates the short-haul low-cost Jetstar Japan joint venture with Australia's Qantas Airways , is setting up ZIPAIR to compete against domestic rival ANA Holdings' budget arm Peach.

Budget flights have been slow to take off in Japan, which is dominated by full-service carriers JAL and ANA and has a sophisticated high-speed rail network, but with growing numbers of Asia travellers taking to the air the two Japanese airlines are looking to expand their low-cost offerings.

Other players are also looking to take advantage of Japan’s growing status as a tourist destination, with AirAsia Japan having relaunched and airlines such as Hong Kong Express and Singapore’s Scoot adding flights to Japan.

Updated: March 8, 2019 06:11 PM

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