Hokkaido International Airlines, also known as Air Do, is a Japanese low-cost carrier. Its main base is at Tokyo's Haneda Airport, from where it operates services various cities to Hokkaido, northern Japan.
Location of Air Do main hub (Tokyo Haneda Airport)
LCCs will continue to evolve into hybrids of the original core model. CAPA and OAG consider Air Do fits the LCC profile and it is included in our reporting on this basis. Please note: when reporting for an airline is changed from or to LCC the historical data is not affected and it can lead to a distortion in the current reported data. Contact us if you have any queries.
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Air Do, based in the Hokkaido region in Japan, is an unusual type of carrier and perhaps one that could only exist in Japan’s atypical domestic environment. It enjoys a strikingly synergistic relationship with All Nippon Airways and leverages a valuable position at slot-constrained Haneda.
Air Do has challenges: Its traffic is highly seasonal, relying on passengers to flee the scorching summer for Hokkaido’s cooler weather. Air Do’s fleet of 767s allows it to target Tokyo-Sapporo, the world’s largest air route, while 737 classics serve thinner points in Hokkaido. But this brings considerable inefficiency to a 13-aircraft fleet, Air Do CEO Sadao Saito told CAPA’s LCCs and New Age Airlines conference in Seoul. Air Do's CASK and yield are lower than at ANA, and Air Do creates efficiency with load factors typically 10ppts higher than at ANA or JAL on overlapping routes. Air Do generally posts profits but with large variance.
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Japan’s two major airlines – Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways – have featured prominently in the news of late, but very little is known about Japan’s low cost carriers, despite five LCCs operating in the market for most of last decade. They are mostly small and fairly fragile, but JAL's tribulations and the opening of a new runway at Tokyo Haneda Airport later this year could finally give them the opportunity to soar.
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