AirAsia Japan Takes Off

AirAsia Japan launched its first ever flights today, 01Aug12, connecting to three destinations in Japan from Tokyo’s Narita airport.

The new low-cost carrier’s inaugural flight to Fukuoka took off at 0700 this morning, followed shortly by the first ever service to Sapporo at 0745. The inaugural flight to the southern resort island of Okinawa will take off at 1845 this evening.

AirAsia Japan, which is a joint venture between Malaysia’ AirAsia and Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), marks the latest stage in Japan’s low-cost aviation revolution. In March this year ANA launched its first low-cost carrier, Peach Aviation, which is now operating both domestic and short-haul international flights from Osaka. And just last month the Qantas-JAL joint venture, Jetstar Japan, took to the skies.

Competing directly with Jetstar Japan, AirAsia Japan will initially operate three daily flights to Sapporo, twice daily services to Fukuoka and daily flights to Okinawa. Services to the Korean cities of Seoul and Busan are expected to commence in October. Like Jetstar Japan and Peach, AirAsia Japan will operate a fleet of all-economy Airbus A320 aircraft.