Zipair drops “Z” tailfin livery

17 Jun 2022 by Mark Caswell
Zipair B787-8

Japan Airlines’ low-cost subsidiary Zipair Tokyo has taken the decision to revamp its tailfin livery, to avoid any confusion with a pro-Russian war symbol.

The carrier’s B787 tailfins currently carry the letter “Z”, a symbol which has also been used in recent months by Russian forces, politicians and individuals as a sign of support for the war in Ukraine.

While Zipair’s press release did not mention the conflict, reports that Shingo Nishida – the airline’s president – felt that changing the tailfin livery “would help Zipair’s passengers to feel less uneasy and more welcomed, knowing that the airline is not pro-Russia”.

The “Z” will be replaced by a geometric pattern in the carrier’s green, black, grey and white colours.

The change will be actioned in two stages, with aircraft seeing a decal placed over the offending letter in the short-term, followed by Zipair’s fleet receiving a fresh paint job between December 2022 and spring 2023.

Rendering of the new Zipair tailfin

The Zipair brand was launched in 2019, and had been due to commence scheduled services in the summer of 2020, but the onset of Covid-19 led to the carrier initially launching as a cargo-only service from Tokyo to Bangkok and Seoul.

Passenger flights have since commenced to Bangkok, Seoul, Honolulu, Singapore and Los Angeles, and the carrier used the announcement of the tailfin revamp to unveil its latest US route to San Jose.

Zipair hopes to start flights to the Californian destination in December, with schedules and fares to be confirmed and reservations set to open in the autumn.

Commenting on the news John Aitken, the San Jose International airport’s director of aviation, said:

“We are delighted by today’s announcement that Zipair plans to join the Mineta San Jose International Airport family later this year.

“Zipair represents a new kind of airline that leverages technology to provide an efficient, more accessible travel experience—a perfect fit for San José and Silicon Valley.

“We look forward to working with the Zipair team as plans develop for this new nonstop service between SJC and Tokyo-Narita.”

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