Air Asia Japan, a unit of Malaysian budget airline Air Asia Group, has confirmed that it has decided to cease operations after struggling to cope with the slump in air travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Travel restrictions and the uncertainties it created have severely curtailed demand for business and leisure travel resulting in flight reductions, cancellations and grounding of aircraft. These factors have weighed heavily on the Company’s ability to continue operations,” reads a statement from Air Asia.

Media reports began to emerge last week that the airline group would be shutting down its Japan operations.

Since its incorporation in July 2014, the company has been operating domestic and international flights from its base in Chubu Centrair International Airport in Japan.

“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,” said representative director and COO of Air Asia Japan, Jun Aida in a statement posted on the airline’s website.

“We have cancelled all flights. All affected guests will be contacted via email with further information within the next 7 days.”

The shutdown affects all domestic and international flights operated by Air Asia Japan with the letter code DJ, but does not affect other flights into and out of Japan operated by other airlines within the Air Asia Group.

Air Asia says 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.