Japan's budget airlines have flown into turbulence with AirAsia's local carrier in danger of being grounded, but analysts say the popularity of discount flying should keep the fledgling sector in the sky.
Earlier this month, Malaysia-based AirAsia warned it might pull the plug on its partnership with All Nippon Airways (ANA), citing management tensions.
While details of the dispute remain unclear, AirAsia, the region's dominant budget carrier, said its Japanese business was "facing some challenges attributed to a difference of opinion in management, most critically on the points of how to operate a low cost business and operating from Narita."
It added that AirAsia Japan was suffering from an "inability to manage costs."
A key constraint on the country's budget carriers is that they have been shut out of Haneda Airport, just a short train ride from downtown Tokyo and the staging point for the most profitable domestic routes, which are controlled by ANA and rival Japan Airlines (JAL).
Flying out of Narita International Airport requires a one-hour train ride from the city center, a long-standing headache for travellers, including passengers with AirAsia Japan and Jetstar Japan, a joint venture between JAL and Australia's Qantas.
The Japanese aviation industry has long been notorious for sky-high landing fees and fuel taxes, in a market that was controlled for decades by JAL and ANA, the country's two dominant carriers.
Japan will provide a total of 110 billion dollars over the next five years to boost by 30 pct financial assistance for promoting infrastructure development in other Asian countries, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
The Japanese Defense Ministry said Thursday that two Chinese bombers flew over open seas between Okinawa Prefecture's main island and the island of Miyakojima, prompting the Air Self-Defense Force to scramble fighter jets. (Jiji Press)
In a crackdown on overcharging of customers, Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Friday announced the bust of two hostess clubs in Shinjuku Ward for overcharging customers, reports the TBS News (May 22). (Tokyo Reporter)
Pedestrian crosswalk laws are all over the place no matter where you go. What's considered jaywalking varies by country, and in the U.S. each state has its own laws for exactly how far the pedestrian needs to have crossed on the crosswalk before you have to stop. (rocketnews24.com)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of multiple organized crime and motorcycle gang members for participation in a brawl that erupted last year in Kita Ward, reports the Sankei Shimbun (May 20). (Tokyo Reporter)
A Japanese man who says he was deceived into carrying someone else's bag on a flight into Indonesia was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for smuggling methamphetamine into the country with harsh drug laws. (Japan Today)