Travellers to Japan could soon enjoy even more choice, with All Nippon Airways (ANA) – the country's largest carrier – today unveiling a new international subsidiary, AirJapan.
Set to take wing between October 2023 and March 2024, AirJapan is described as “a completely new kind of air travel experience” which sits between the traditional full service and low-cost carrier models: think of AirJapan as being more a hybrid or “value carrier”.
ANA says its offshoot – built on the foundation of a subsidiary of the same name that has flown with ANA livery for many years – will be a fully realised brand experience which now stands on its own, offering travellers “more of what they want” and “less of what they don’t”.
Passengers will be able to tailor their travel experience to suit their needs and budget – a strategy which could see starting fares in a similar price range to low-cost airlines.
“We are excited to begin unveiling AirJapan and the selectable service and comfortable cabin experience it will offer passengers,” said Hideki Mineguchi, President of Air Japan.
“By focusing on medium-haul international routes, the ANA Group will be better equipped to meet emerging trends for international travel at a competitive price.”
When initially mapping out the new airline’s positioning in October 2020, ANA said the focus would be “Asian growth markets” where it would target “demand for low-cost, medium-distance flights to destinations in Southeast Asia and Oceania.”
Although specific routes and the scheduled first flight are yet to be announced, ANA says it’s “closely monitoring trends in the recovery of demand for international flights”.
AirJapan will fly an all Boeing 787-8 fleet, which ANA has previously said would offer two classes of seating – potentially led by a business or premium cabin – of “300+ seats” all up.
(ANA's current Dreamliner fleet is mostly in a three-class layout, with the exception of domestic versions of each type which have just two classes, totalling 335-395 seats.)
It’s not known if this airline will, like ANA, be a full member of Star Alliance offering recognition and perks for frequent flyers; become a Star Alliance Connecting Partner under the sponsorship of ANA; or not be affiliated with Star Alliance at all.