Japanese LCCs Establishing Multiple Hubs to Add Routes and Stimulate Demand

Japanese LCCs Establishing Multiple Hubs to Add Routes and Stimulate Demand

Jetstat Japan is one of the LCCs that fly into Narita International Airport.

Enlarge this image Enlarge this map

Japan's three low-cost carriers (LCCs) are currently employing a strategy of establishing multiple hub airports in the country.

Jetstar Japan Co., Ltd. is making Narita International Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture its second hub this month, in addition to the airline's other at Kansai International Airport in Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture. Jetstar also announced plans to expand service to Narita from 2 flights on 1 route to 20 flights on 4 routes by December. From 2013 onward, the carrier will add more domestic routes to Narita as the airport expands the number of landing slots there and hopes to add service on international routes.

AirAsia Japan Co., Ltd. currently has its hub at Narita, but the company announced it intends to add Chubu International Airport in Tokoname, Aichi Prefecture as a second. Meanwhile Peach Aviation Limited, based at Kansai International, has said it is considering adding Naha Airport in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.

Within the year both Kansai and Naha airports will open LCC-only terminals that will operate 24 hours a day. The thinking by the LCCs--who have few replacement aircraft--is that basing operations at multiple airports with fewer restrictions will improve punctuality, allow them more flexibility in setting up effective route networks and thus lead to greater demand.