Sun, Jul 28, 2013 - Page 13 News List

AirAsia Japan to close, canceling hundreds of flights

AFP, TOKYO

AirAsia Japan has said the budget carrier will cancel hundreds of flights over two months before it ceases operations under the current brand at the end of October.

AirAsia Japan, operated jointly by Malaysia-based AirAsia and major Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA), will suspend 14 daily flights from September 1 to October 26, according to a company statement.

The carrier said the cancellations, which will reportedly affect 14,000 passengers, was because of a lack of planes to service all its routes.

The affected routes include flights linking Seoul to the central Japanese city of Nagoya, and Tokyo to the northern city of Sapporo.

The carrier will cease operations by the end of October, just over a year after it started flying out of Tokyo’s Narita airport in August.

Announcing the dissolution of AirAsia Japan last month, the Malaysian carrier cited a “fundamental difference of opinion between its shareholders on how the business should be managed, from cost management to where the domestic business operations should be based.”

On Wednesday, AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes said the company could enter into a new venture in Japan.

“We had a lot of the staff from AirAsia Japan who have approached us and said we really want to continue with this AirAsia vision,” Fernandes said in Singapore.

He said some of the investors in the new venture could be current employees of AirAsia Japan, but declined to give further details.

“It has to be a fresh venture, it can’t completely be mine,” he said.

However, ANA said the venture dissolved because it was not well known in Japan and could not register profits.

The Japanese carrier plans to launch a new budget brand in November.

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