ANA and AirAsia team up on new Japanese budget airline

ANA and AirAsia team up on new Japanese budget airline

AirAsia Japan slated for August 2012 launch out of Narita

AirAsia JapanANA president Shinichiro Ito poses with the CEO of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes.

Travelers to, from and within Japan are set for yet another low-cost option in summer 2012, when AirAsia Japan launches as a partnership between ANA and AirAsia.

The new airline will be the first budget carrier to use Narita International, some 60 kilometers outside Tokyo, in Chiba Prefecture.

Narita to bounce back?

Narita has recently seen its primacy in serving the Japanese capital rattled after the more convenient Haneda Airport added a terminal and expanded its roster of international flights in late 2010.

A joint press release issued by AirAsia and ANA notes that Narita is, “seeking to increase capacity with the introduction of a new terminal and is expected to attract many low-cost carriers and foreign airlines.”

Although routes have yet to be announced, AirAsia Japan will face competition from several budget carriers in the country, including JAL Express, Air Do and SkyMark.

Regional ties

AirAsia CEO, Tony Fernandes, says the new venture will, “not only boost economic growth between ASEAN and East Asia by providing better access to markets around the region, but also enhance links within travel, trade and tourism.”

The schedule calls for AirAsia Japan flights, both domestic and international, to begin in August 2012, subject to obtaining the relevant approvals.