AirAsia Japan launch delayed until year-end

AirAsia Japan has delayed its launch until year-end the CEO and founder of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes, said recently.


AirAsia Japan launch delayed until year-end


AirAsia Japan has delayed its launch until year-end the CEO and founder of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes, said recently.

The carrier had planned to launch in June, but certification by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLITT) is taking longer than expected. The carrier is expected to take delivery of its first of ten A320-200s on order from Airbus in July with the second in August.

“We are the only LCC with a network covering all of Asia. Look at our name. We are AirAsia. Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia are also on our horizon. Japan would be our North Asia hub and India our South Asia hub. We will continue to expand our network as Asia’s largest LCC. 2015 will see us fly to Sapporo Chitose, Honolulu, and London,” Fernandes said in reference to a shift away from Southeast Asia, a market which he noted is nearly saturation.

AirAsia’s first effort at penetrating the Japanese market failed after a joint venture with All Nippon Airways (ANA) collapsed, the remains of which were later cobbled together to form Vanilla Air. This most recent venture, AirAsia Japan, consists of AirAsia partnering Octave Japan Infrastructure Fund (19 per cent), e-commerce group Rakuten (18 per cent), Noevir Holdings (nine per cent) and Alpen (five per cent).