Japan’s newest airline AirJapan has finally announced a date for the launch of its first services. The subsidiary of All Nippon Airways (ANA) will commence operations on February 9, 2024, with flights from Tokyo Narita to Bangkok, the airline said on August 2. AirJapan prepares for February 9 launch to Bangkok.
The current schedule is for flight NQ001 to Bangkok to operate on all weekdays except on Tuesdays, departing Narita at 5.55 pm local time and arriving in Bangkok at 11.15 pm local time. The return service NQ002 is to depart Bangkok at 00.15 am and should land in Tokyo at 8.10 am. The airline will operate the Boeing 787-8 with an all-Economy cabin with 324 seats.
This schedule is for February 9 to March 24 only, which indicates that times could change when the 2024 summer season starts that weekend. AirJapan is also waiting for final approval from the authorities.
Fares start at ¥15.000 and go up to ¥23.800. Seat selection, check-in baggage, and meals are included in the highest Selected fare but the basic Simple fare comes without extras, while only advance meals and baggage are included in the mixed Standard fare. Wi-Fi is free of charge. AirJapan has taken extra attention to in-flight catering and is offering thirteen different meals.
Third brand within ANA Group
With AirJapan, the ANA Group is offering a third brand between the parent airline ANA and low-cost carrier Peach, just like Japan Airlines has done with ZIPAIR. The product is a mix of a full-service carrier and a low-cost airline, which is reflected in the airfares and onboard services. Whereas ZIPAIR seems focused on the US West Coast, AirJapan should grow ANA’s presence on medium-haul routes in Southeast Asia and Oceania.
The airline has been recruiting staff for some time and says it only works with cabin crew that have at least one year of experience with other airlines.
ANA first mentioned its plans to set up a third carrier in October 2020, when it was reviewing its strategy during the Covid crisis. AirJapan was supposed to launch services around fiscal year 2022, which at ANA runs from March to April, but this slipped by over a year until the second half of FY23, the airline said in March 2022. At the FY22 results presentation in April, ANA said that AirJapan would start operations in February 2024. This has been confirmed today with the February 9 date.
AirJapan is part of ANA’s medium-term strategy to boost the operating income to ¥200 billion in FY25, the net profit to ¥122 billion, and revenues to ¥2.3 trillion, as was announced this February. ANA hasn’t shared financial targets for AirJapan, nor how quickly it intends to grow the subsidiary to a specific size.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News and until July 1 2023 in a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.