Japan Airlines new LCC {to be|to become|to get} called ZIPAIR Tokyo

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The new logo on Japan Airlines’ proposed medium- to long-haul low-cost carrier. (Japan Airlines)

Japan Airlines (JAL) says its proposed low-cost carrier (LCC) will be named ZIPAIR Tokyo and its first two destinations Bangkok and Seoul Incheon.

The name of the medium- to long-haul LCC and its first two routes was announced on Friday, March 8 in Tokyo.

JAL said ZIPAIR Tokyo would start flying in the summer of 2020 with the initial fleet comprising two Boeing 787-8s based at Tokyo Narita Airport.

The LCC was currently {applying for|trying to get|obtaining} its air operator’ s certificate from Japan’ s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, as well as hiring staff.

“ ZIPAIR Tokyo is a coined word derived from the English word ZIP, which describes speed, such as how fast time can pass {when traveling|during travel|while traveling} on an unique airline, ” JAL explained in a statement.

“ {In addition ,|Additionally ,} the brand name incorporates {the idea of|the thought of|the concept of} traveling to destinations in various {ZIP CODES|CODES}, while aiming to create a calculated travel experience that encompasses the originality and ingenuity of the Japanese culture.

“ And finally, {the word|the term|the phrase} Tokyo was added to {the name|title}, as the airline will be based {in one of the|with the} most advanced cities in the world. ”

ZIPAIR Tokyo will be JAL’ s second LCC business in Japan. The airline has a 33. 3 per cent stake in Jetstar Japan alongside Qantas (33. 3 per cent), Mitsubishi Corporation (16. 7 per cent) and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation (16. 7 per cent).

JAL announced plans to establish an LCC {focused on|centered on|dedicated to} medium- and long-haul routes in June 2018, flying to destinations in Asia, Europe and the Americas {from its|from the} home base of Tokyo Narita. It set up a TBL Co. Ltd – believed to be an acronym for To Be Launched – {at the end of|in late} July.

{At the time|During the time|At that time}, it said the new LCC would “ create new demand, working along with the successful services provided by Jetstar Japan, which features domestic and short-haul international flights”.

A June 2018 slide presentation showing Japan Airlines' proposed low-cost carrier's target area. (Japan Airlines)

A June 2018 slide presentation showing Japan Airlines’ proposed low-cost carrier’ s target area. (Japan Airlines)

JAL’ s latest medium term management plan published in February 2019 said the LCC would offer a “ low-cost, high quality new travel style”.

“ {We will|We are going to|You will} start a mid- and long-haul LCC as a completely new {business model|business structure|business design}, ” the management plan said.

“ Together with the partner LCCs {in the|within the|inside the} domestic and the short-haul international passenger markets, we will construct a business portfolio to accommodate {with a|having a|using a} variety of customer needs. ”

Further, the management plan said JAL planned to invest about 23 billion Japanese yen (A$295 million) in the three-year period between 2018 2020.

Jetstar Japan was established {in 2012|this year|news} and operates about 24 Airbus A320 family aircraft on domestic and short-haul regional routes. that fly to 13 domestic {and four|and 4} international destinations.

Jetstar Japan is adding Airbus A321LRs to its existing A320ceo fleet. (Rob Finlayson)

Jetstar Japan is adding Airbus A321LRs to its existing A320ceo fleet. (Rob Finlayson)

The LCC {has said|reports|says} previously the fleet was expected to increase to 28 aircraft by 2019. It has also ordered three long-haul A321LRs due to arrive in 2020.

In the July 2018 edition of Australian Aviation magazine, Jetstar Japan {chief executive|leader} adviser and executive director Nick Rohrlach indicated the yet-to-be-named ZIPAIR Tokyo represented a likely prospective traffic bonus rather than a threat.

“ If you look at us, especially compared to some of the other LCCs in the market, we’ ve got the same product but we’ ve got different strategies, ” Rohrlach said.

“ We are opening domestic ports much faster than we are opening international {and what|and exactly what} we are seeing is a lot of stimulation in the secondary markets… we will definitely have more {in the|within the|inside the} domestic sector.

Rohrlach noted a growing number of inbound tourists were arriving into Japan and connecting onto Jetstar Japan for local flights.

“ You look, especially during Chinese New Year, all of our flights around are heavily focused on {a lot of|lots of|plenty of} Chinese tourists flying around domestically as well, ” Rohrlach said.

“ We play a role there in growing these smaller cities. That’ s been our focus and I think that will be our focus, certainly for the next {few years|couple of years|several years}. ”