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AirAsia Japan to launch operations on 29 October

The reborn AirAsia Japan will commence services on 29 October with a service from its Nagoya hub to Sapporo, two years after receiving its air operator's certificate.

The carrier says in a statement that it will operate twice-daily on the route, which FlightGlobal schedules data shows it will compete against five other carriers, including Jetstar Japan, All Nippon Airways and Skymark Airlines.

“We are honoured to be the first airline to be based in Nagoya’s Chubu Centrair International airport and we are committed to connecting as many guests as possible at low fares to AirAsia's extensive network, as well as bridging communities and cultures for the benefit of the local economy,” says chief executive Osamu Hata.

AirAsia holds a 49% stake in AirAsia Japan, while shareholders Rakuten, Octave Japan Infrastructure Fund, Noevir Holdings and Alpen hold the other 51%.

This is the Malaysian budget carrier’s second attempt into the Japanese market, following the October 2013 breakdown of its joint venture with ANA Holdings. The shell of that first carrier was used to launch Vanilla Air shortly after.

The new carrier was granted its AOC in October 2015, and had planned to launch services during the northern spring of 2016. The launch was however repeatedly delayed, and Jetstar Japan has in the meantime announced plans to start a base at Nagoya in 2018.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that AirAsia Japan has two Airbus A320s in its fleet.

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