AirAsia to re-enter Japan's low cost carrier market

After entering the Indian no-frills air-carrier market, AirAsia is now eyeing returning  to Japan's low-cost air travel market.

It said today that it will enter into a shareholders agreement with Octave Japan Infrastructure Fund I GK (Octave), Rakuten Inc. (Rakuten), Noevir Holdings Co. Ltd. (Noevir), and Alpen Co. Ltd. (Alpen) to launch AirAsia Japan.

Tony Fernandes, group CEO of AirAsia said, ''We are very excited to return to Japan's skies together with Octave, Rakuten, Noevir and Alpen this time round. I am more confident than ever that AirAsia Japan, led by Odi (Odagiri Yoshinori) with the strong partnership we have with our new investors, will continue to realise our vision to revolutionise the low-cost carrier segment of Japan."

Fernandes said the AirAsia Japan team is now working hard with the relevant authorities to obtain necessary operational approvals.

"He said we hope that all will be in place to start both domestic and international flights by the summer of 2015.''

Odagiri Yoshinori, CEO, AirAsia Japan added, ''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.

"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.''

Rakuten was incorporated in Japan on February 1997 and its major business includes Internet services (e-commerce, travel), financial services (bank, credit card, securities. etc), telecommunications and professional sports.

Noevir, which was incorporated in Japan in March 2011 has as its major business cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and health food, apparel and aviation business.

Alpen was incorporated in Japan on July 1972 and its major business includes manufacturing and retail of ski equipment, other sporting goods equipment including golf, tennis, marine sports, baseball, etc. and leisure goods; management of ski resorts, golf courses and fitness clubs. Octave was incorporated in Japan on May 2014 and its major business is to acquire, own, manage, hold, sell, and dispose of the shares of AirAsia Japan and make collections from the shares of AirAsia Japan.