AirAsia regional head Zaman Ahma, speaking at CAPA's North Asia LCC and New Age Airlines conference in Macau, stated (06-Sep-2012) AirAsia Japan recently carried a group of 16 school children from Tokyo Narita to Sapporo so they could participate in a football match for the day. Meanwhile Peach has facilitated day trips to Seoul from Osaka Kansai, often for shopping trips. These examples show Japanese LCCs are enabling passengers to take affordable day trips which they were previously unable to do.
Japanese LCCs enabling affordable day trips
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AirAsia Group to accelerate growth in 2017 with more deliveries, India push and Japan launch
The AirAsia Group is planning to accelerate expansion in 2017, with several additional deliveries. The short haul LCC is bullish on its prospects for 2017, particularly in India, Indonesia and the Philippines which are on course to achieve profitability by the end of 2016.
The group is also hoping to benefit from more favourable conditions in its original home markets of Malaysia and Thailand. While AirAsia has remained profitable at a group level over the last two years it has been impacted by relatively challenging conditions in Malaysia and Thailand and steep losses in India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The group’s fifth joint venture, AirAsia Japan, is now slated to commence operations in 1Q2017. Japan will help drive a new phase of growth after a hiatus from fleet expansion over the last two years.
AirAsia exploring future opportunities in Northeast Asia: Chinese affiliate enticing, but difficult
AirAsia is doubling down its focus on North Asia with a regional office in Hong Kong overseen by former AirAsia executive Kathleen Tan, who is widely credited for AirAsia's strong Chinese relations and growth in China: AirAsia is the largest non-greater China airline company in the country. Across North Asia the opportunities are large, but the challenges equally big. A China-based AirAsia affiliate would appear to be a long term ambition.
More immediately, AirAsia is regaining a local Northeast Asia presence with the launch of AirAsia Japan Mk II in 2017. Although delayed from initial 2015 start-up projections, AirAsia Japan gives the group relevance in a large domestic market and significantly growing short haul international market.
Elsewhere in Northeast Asia the opportunities are mixed. Korea and Hong Kong are becoming saturated and remain protectionist. Macau and Taiwan are unlikely to be big enough to support a local AirAsia unit.