Starting next summer, Japan will see a new low cost carrier take to the skies: ZIPAIR Tokyo.
The Tokyo-based LCC - registered under its parent company Japan Airlines (JAL) – was revealed by JAL President Shingo Nishida with the name to describe speed, “such as how fast time can pass when traveling on a unique airline.”
With its air operator’s certificate application, ZIPAIR Tokyo will serve as a medium-to-long haul low cost carrier using two Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft based in Tokyo’s Narita Airport. JAL has revealed the first two destinations are Bangkok-Survarnbhumi and Seoul. Later, the airline has also stated it is looking to launch flights to North America and Europe.
ZIPAIR’s maiden flights are scheduled to begin in the summer of 2020, just before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. In addition to ZIPAIR, JAL already operates the short-haul LCC Jetstar Japan as part of a joint venture with Qantas.
One particular market – the trans-Pacific market - will be looked closely as ZIPAIR’s plans for flights to the US could begin in 2021. On that particular market, there are no flights to the US mainland from Asia by any LCC. Honolulu gets regular flights from AirAsia and Scoot from Osaka, though Scoot has announced it will end its services in June 2019.