Spring Airlines Japan has received approval from the country’s ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism to begin operations next year.
Spring Japan says it will launch services on 31 May 2014, with an initial fleet of three 189-seat Boeing 737-800s that it expects to grow to 20 aircraft by 2017. It intends to launch with twice daily services from Tokyo Narita to Hiroshima, Saga and Takamatsu.
The airline adds it intends to stimulate new demand through cheap fares, while revitalising the local economy, and promote Japan as a tourist destination to the Chinese market.
Spring Japan is a joint venture between Chinese low-cost carrier Spring Airlines and unnamed Japanese partners. Spring holds a 33% stake in the airline – the maximum permitted under Japanese regulations.
Spring Japan will join Peach Aviation, Jetstar Japan and Vanilla Air as the fourth low-cost carrier in the Japanese domestic market. It will compete directly with the latter two, which are also based at Tokyo Narita airport.