Budget carrier AirAsia Japan unable to refund 23,000 air tickets
Kyodo -- Nov 18
The Japanese unit of Malaysia's budget airline AirAsia Group said Tuesday it has filed for bankruptcy due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on travel demand, with a lawyer saying the unit is unable to refund around 23,000 air tickets.

In seeking protection from creditors, AirAsia Japan Co. becomes the first airline company operating in Japan to go bankrupt due to the pandemic. Its total liabilities were 21.7 billion yen ($208 million), the airline said.

Tamotsu Ueno, a court-appointed lawyer handling the company's protection from creditors, said at a press conference that refunds were not possible for around 23,000 tickets directly purchased from AirAsia Japan.

The total worth of tickets yet to be refunded is estimated at 520 million yen, including tickets purchased via travel agencies.

Ueno also said AirAsia Japan will ask shareholders including e-commerce company Rakuten Inc. for help on the remaining refunds.

Customers could receive credits for other flights operated by the group, instead of cash refunds, the lawyer added.

LCC(格安航空会社)の「エアアジア・ジャパン」が17日、破産手続き開始を申し立てたことを明らかにしました。国内を拠点とする航空会社が新型コロナウイルスの影響で経営破綻するのは初めてです。  愛知県の中部空港を拠点とするエアアジア・ジャパンは新型コロナウイルスの影響で先月、事業の継続を断念して中部空港から撤退することを発表していました。エアアジア・ジャパンによりますと、その後も需要の回復が見込めず、17日に東京地裁に破産手続きの開始を申し立てました。負債総額は約217億円で、航空券を購入した少なくとも2万3000人、約5億2000万円分の返金の見通しが立っていないということです。日本を拠点とする航空会社が新型コロナの影響で経営破綻するのは初めてです。
News sources: Kyodo, ANNnewsCH
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