AirAsia Japan Co. will today become the third budget airline to start flights in the country this year, stepping up competition for full-service operators.
The first service is due to take off for Fukuoka at 7 a.m. from Tokyo’s Narita airport, according to the company, which is part-owned by AirAsia Bhd. (AIRA), the region’s biggest discount airline. The carrier will also fly to Sapporo in northern Japan, and to Naha in the south.
The airline is offering fares at less than half the price of Japan Airlines Co. (9202) and All Nippon Airways Co. as it seeks to fly 10 million passengers annually within five years. Its debut follows the start of flights by Peach Aviation Ltd. in March and by Jetstar Japan Co. last month.
AirAsia Japan intends to build a fleet of at least 30 planes within five years. All Nippon has a stake in the airline and in Peach Aviation. Jetstar Japan’s shareholders include Japan Air and Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN)
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