Two New LCCs, AirAsia Japan and Jetstar Japan, Unveil Aircraft for Flight Service Starting this Summer

Two New LCCs, AirAsia Japan and Jetstar Japan, Unveil Aircraft for Flight Service Starting this Summer

Jetstar Japan's A320.

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On June 11 and 12, two new low-cost carriers (LCCs) that plan to commence domestic service this summer unveiled new aircraft to the media.

On the 11th, AirAsia Japan Co., Ltd. (IATA code: JW) landed its first aircraft, an Airbus A320, at Narita Airport, where it was greeted with a spray of water from fire trucks. The media was then shown the cabin and cockpit. The new plane sported the red and white livery that all AirAsia group companies share, along with the message "NOW EVERYONE CAN FLY" painted along the body. The all-economy class aircraft has 180 seats and a seat pitch of 71.12 centimeters. AirAsia Japan plans to receive delivery of another aircraft. The fleet of two planes will begin flying routes connecting Narita with New Chitose and Fukuoka on August 1, plus a Narita-Naha route starting on August 3.

The following day, June 12, Jetstar Japan Co., Ltd. (GK) showed off the exterior and interior of its new Airbus A320 inside a hangar at Narita Airport. It basically has the same livery as the planes that Australian carrier Jetstar flies on international routes, with the addition of the message "all day, every day, low fares." Like AirAsia Japan, the new Jetstar A320 has an all-economy class seating arrangement for 180 passengers, with a minimum seat pitch of 71 centimeters. Jetstar Japan will receive three more A320s this month and began operating four routes on July 3 connecting Narita with Osaka, New Chitose, Fukuoka and Naha.

Both LCCs are offering fares for one-half to as low as one-third those charged by major airlines. The two companies have stated that they will employ original strategies to attract flyers and stimulate the aviation market, while not engaging in an endless price war between domestic LCCs. However, some aviation industry insiders speculate that there will be intense competition between AirAsia Japan and Jetstar Japan on prices and services because they are establishing overlapping routes based out of Narita and will use aircraft with very similar specifications.

Japanese LCC Peach (MM) began operating out of its hub at Kansai International Airport in May, from which it is now flying to domestically to New Chitose, Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Kagoshima and internationally to Seoul with 180-seat A320s―just like the AirAsia Japan and Jetstar Japan fleets.