· Down Under comes north
Australian LCC, Jetstar will be setting up shop at Tokyo-Narita later in the year. Jetstar Japan is calling on some big partnerships with oneworld buddies, Qantas and Japan Airlines. The orange-starred planes have been flying into Japan for the past five years, but a completely new airline will be created, serving domestic cities all across Japan, flying later in 2012. Although the company has appointed a CEO, no destinations have been set in stone, although Sapporo, Fukuoka, and Okinawa were already mentioned.
· Air Asia Japan
Narita will be quite the budget carrier battle ground, with Air Asia competing directly with the big guns and Jetstar Japan. The Malaysian-based, low-cost airline announced the opening of Air Asia Japan's Narita base for sister operations. AAJ has mentioned some medium and long-haul budget flights, but in August they start with Sapporo, Fukuoka, and Okinawa, to be followed by South Korean destinations commencing in October.
· Haneda gets action, too
The first Japanese LCC, Skymark Airlines has made some big expansion news for 2012 and beyond. The Haneda-based carrier not only announced an award seat partnership with Delta, but confirmed an order for Airbus A380s for long-haul routes. As the first Japanese carrier to order the superjumbo, Skymark will make tracks to the United States and Europe. The airline is also trying to beef-up frequency by creating their Narita Shuttle to select Japanese cities, competing with all of the new entrants already mentioned above.
For 2012, there is no doubt that Japan aviation will be hot, hot, hot with fares that are low, low, low. Stay tuned for emerging details throughout the year.
[Photo: Peach Facebook]