With its planned launch for passenger flights delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Japan Airlines' new budget subsidiary ZIPAIR Tokyo is making a pivot for its maiden flights.

In a new filing to Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, ZIPAIR Tokyo is planning to launch cargo-only flights between Tokyo-Narita and Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi starting on June 3 on a four-times weekly schedule.

The Tokyo-based budget carrier has postponed the launch of its Tokyo-Bangkok flights that was originally scheduled on May 14.

As it proceeds to operate cargo flights at first, the airline has continued to state its intentions to open up its first passenger flights. However, no new launch date has been announced.

In a statement from the airline, ZIPAIR President Shingo Nishida stated: “Since the announcement of our business in May 2018, our employees have united to prepare for the launch of medium and long distance LCC services. Unfortunately, in light of the current situation, we are not able to launch passenger flights to Bangkok. As people around the world find new ways to promote their businesses, we decided to take a step forward by temporarily launching cargo-only flights between Japan and Thailand.”

For its second planned route - Seoul - no changes have been announced. The flights to Seoul are scheduled to begin on July 1.

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