For the second time of asking, it seems AirAsia is walking away from Japan, with the airline to shutter its AirAsia Japan operation.
The airline ceased operation on the 5th October, with flights operating under the DJ flight code ceasing. International services to Japan, from Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines will resume in the future after travel restrictions are lifted and borders with Japan are reopened.
It was based out of Chubu Centrair International Airport (Nagoya), operating both Japanese Domestic and International flights.
However, the ugly head of the COVID-19 pandemic has visited, leaving what the airline calls 2a significant and sustained adverse economic impact on businesses and economies around the world and the Company has not been spared.”
With demand down due to travel restrictions, uncertainties on the lifting of restriction, demand has evaporated for both business and leisure travel – forcing cancellations and groundings.
The airline had three Airbus A320 based with this subsidiary at the time of closure.
Representative Director and COO of AirAsia Japan, Jun Aida said
“Despite our unrelenting efforts to sustain operations through successive and wide-ranging cost reduction initiatives, we have concluded that it would be an extremely challenging feat for us to continue operating without any visibility and certainty of a post-pandemic recovery path.
“I would like to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation to our loyal guests and other stakeholders who have supported us all along. This painful decision to cease operations was decided neither in haste nor taken lightly. It was agreed upon after conducting a thorough business review.
“Further steps to this decision will be made in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations including the Japan Civil Aeronautics Act.
“We have cancelled all flights. All affected guests will be contacted via email with further information within the next 7 days.”
AirAsia has loaded advice for passengers at https://support.airasia.com/s/article/AirAsia-Japan-Announcement?language=en_GB (English).
In summary, passengers will be contacted in the next seven days. You will be offered a refund or a credit note.
All four routes are cancelled – these are:
- Chubu Centrair International Airport (Nagoya) – New Chitose Airport (Sapporo)
- Chubu Centrair International Airport (Nagoya) – Fukuoka Airport
- Chubu Centrair International Airport (Nagoya) – Sendai Airport
- Chubu Centrair International Airport (Nagoya) – Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
Second time unlucky
The second incarnation of AirAsia Japan – starting up in July 2014 and flying since October 2017. The previous operation lasted as a joint venture with ANA between 2012 and 2013, which was folded into Vanilla Air (which in turn was folded into Peach Aviation).
For AirAsia – Japan remains a hard market for the group to crack even in the best of times. In the worst of times, it is nigh-on impossible.
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