Pan-Asian low cost carrier AirAsia is making a second play at establishing its low-cost carrier franchise in Japan.
In teaming with Japanese companies Octave Japan Infrastructure Fund, Rakuten, Noevir Holdings, and Alpen, AirAsia hopes to quickly re-establish itself in the Japanese market after a failed 2012/13 joint-venture with ANA. Following the withdrawal of AirAsia from the joint-venture with ANA, AirAsia Japan was re-branded as Vanilla Air and is pitched against the struggling Jetstar Japan joint-venture between the Qantas Group and Japan Air Lines.
“We are very excited to return to Japan’s skies together with Octave, Rakuten, Noevir and Alpen this time round,” AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes said in a statement. “I am more confident than ever that AirAsia Japan, led by (Odagiri Yoshinori) with the strong partnership we have with our new investors, will continue to realize our vision to revolutionize the low-cost carrier segment of Japan.”
The new entity will be headed up by CEO Odagiri Yoshinori. “We are ready to take on this challenge and with great teamwork, we hope to bring AirAsia’s successful low-cost business model once again to Japan,” he said. “Our counterparts in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and India have seen great and encouraging responses in their markets, and we will work towards the same for Japan. We would like to thank the investors for their belief in us and we look forward to working closely with them moving forward.”