All Nippon Airways (ANA) is seeking to establish a low-cost carrier (LCC) with a possible base at Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture.
ANA President Shinichiro Ito told shareholders on Monday that since there was a desire for a low-cost alternative to the main carriers “we are considering how we can operate an LCC in Japan”.
It is understood that ANA plans to set up the subsidiary under a different brand name. Routes are likely to focus on north Asian destinations, principally to China and South Korea.
Japan’s formerly conservative aviation sector has been in transformation recently. National flag-carrier Japan Airlines (JAL) is slashing routes and services as a result of its economic problems. In October, a new runway opens at Tokyo’s downtown Haneda airport which will drastically increase regional and long-haul flight options into the Japanese capital.
The upgrading of Haneda has left Kansai airport in limbo as it has failed to establish itself as the second gateway hub for international flights to Japan. It is understood from Japanese press reports that Kansai is looking to build a terminal aimed exclusively at LCCs.
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