Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New AirAsia Japan mulls Nagoya – Sendai.

AirAsia Japan (Mk II) is reportedly considering Nagoya/Chubu Centrair [NGO/RJGG] – Sendai [SDJ/RJSS] as one of their first routes. The reincarnation of the pan-Asian LCC group's Japanese unit is currently preparing to launch flights before the end of 2015 with a hub at Chubu Centrair, which serves the nation's third largest metropolitan area (New AirAsia Japan eyes launch by year-end 2015.). CEO Yoshinori Odagiri had previously hinted Fukuoka [FUK/RJFF] and Sapporo/New Chitose [CTS/RJCC] as their first domestic cities and Taipei/Taoyuan [TPE/RCTP] as its first international destination.

Arriving at Trang is Airbus A320-214 HS-ABY of Thai AirAsia, the group's short-haul affiliate in Thailand. AirAsia Japan (Mk II) is also part of a strategy to shift dependence from Southeast Asia, where competition is fiercer than ever, with most of its siblings posting losses for 2014. (Photo: Ryosuke Yano)

Japan's latest LCC is planning to take delivery of its first aircraft, Airbus A320-216(SL) JA01DJ, the narrow-body family's 6676th to roll out of the production line, in July, with the second to arrive in August as JA02DJ (New AirAsia Japan's first Airbus A320 due in July.). The deadline for application for hiring flight attendants was February 1st, and applicants were required to have at least one year of experience. A two-month training program at AirAsia's [AK/AXM] Malaysia headquarters would start as early as May. However, the airline has yet to officially apply for an air operator's certificate (AOC) with regulatory paperwork taking more time than expected.

Meanwhile, Hiroshi Takeshi, President of Central Japan International Airport, which operates Chubu Centrair, has said "We're ready to begin work on the LCC terminal as soon as AirAsia makes its formal decision." The airport was on track to build an LCC-dedicated terminal capable of processing 5 million annual domestic and international passengers until the original AirAsia Japan (Mk I) [JW/WAJ] withdrew at the end of August 2013, after the first joint-venture (JV) with ANA Holdings failed. Chubu Centrair has set a target for 15 million passengers by 2020, which is double the current figures, but Mr. Kawakami believes "It's not impossible if we could attract more LCCs."

Also, AirAsia is currently bidding to sponsor Skymark Airlines [BC/SKY] out of bankruptcy, competing with former JV partner ANA (ANA and AirAsia bid to save Skymark.). Proposals from neither parties have been disclosed, however, the Malaysia-based LCC is reportedly calling for a re-branding of Skymark under AirAsia, launching a new JV long-haul subsidiary (a hint at AirAsia X Japan?), and a potential future merger with AirAsia Japan (Mk II), in exchange for initially investing up to 20% in Skymark and mediating discussions with Airbus and aircraft lessors to reduce the cash-strapped carrier's debts (Skymark's total debts skyrocket to 300 billion JPY.). AirAsia Japan's (Mk II) plans may change depending on the outcome of the Skymark proposal.

Source: Aviation Wire, April 1st 2013. 
Source: Aviation Wire, October 4th 2013.
Source: Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, February 11th 2015.
Source: Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, April 1st 2015. 
Source: Traicy, April 1st 2015.

No comments:

Post a Comment