Airlines JAL announces establishment of a new low-cost carrier

  • JAL

Japan Airlines (JAL) today announced the decision to establish a new low-cost carrier (LCC) business for the international market. 

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As described in the FY2017-2020 JAL Group Medium Term Management Plan, the company looks to develop and cultivate new business opportunities. The new LCC business will specifically feature international routes with medium to long-haul flights and will aim to provide customers with new options when traveling to Japan.

The company will be a consolidated subsidiary of the JAL Group and plans to operate flights from Narita International Airport to select destinations in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. In the first stages of its establishment, the carrier will operate two Boeing 787-8 aircraft and is targeting to launch commercial flights from the summer of 2020 when Narita Airport plans to complete enhancements to its facilities.

Map with potential destinations for new JAL long-haul LCC Source JAL © JAL

JAL will cooperate with Jetstar Japan, which currently operates domestic and short-haul low cost flights from Narita Airport. Japan Airlines owns 33.3% in Jetstar Japan.

The currently unnamed airline could become the first carrier, operating low cost long-haul flights from Narita Airport. Several airlines have launched similar low-cost units to cover the growing demand for low-cost flights in the long-haul market. As one of the first airlines, Air Asia has established Air Asia X, which operates 22 Airbus A330-300 on long-haul flights from hubs in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Singapore Airlines’ LCC Scoot has commenced international long-haul operations with a fleet of 16 Boeing 787 Dreamliner in 2012. The carrier has started connecting its hub Singapore Changi Airport with several international destinations like Berlin in Europe. Europe’s major airlines, the Lufthansa Group, the IAG Group and Air France/KLM have started own long-haul low cost projects. Lufthansa’s Eurowings connects Düsseldorf Airport and Munch with several international destinations, IAG’s Level has commenced operations from Barcelona and Air France’s Joon operates flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.

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