ANA Holdings expects the Southeast Asian market to be a new growth driver in the recovery of leisure travel demand after the pandemic, with plans to launch new service to and from Thailand under its AirJapan budget airline brand. .
A Narita-Bangkok route will start in February next year as AirJapan’s first service, with six round-trip flights a week.
The one-way fare will start at ¥15,500 ($108), slightly higher than another ANA group LCC, Peach Aviation.
The airline will also offer higher-priced services with various meal options and different checked baggage allowances.
The price range has been set to appeal to families in Southeast Asia who want a higher quality of service than LCCs. AirJapan offers more legroom and better food options on its 324-seat Boeing 787-8 aircraft, ANA said.
Meals that passengers can select in advance include Japanese dishes such as a chicken and egg rice bowl and sushi.
The airline said it will consider adding more routes in the future, such as those to Kansai International Airport in western Japan.
ANA has said it expects AirJapan’s low-cost operation to generate revenue from services that might not be profitable if offered by the full-service airline.
The group’s other LCC service, Peach Aviation, is more focused on domestic routes but has expanded into international services, offering flights to destinations such as Bangkok, Seoul, Shanghai and Taipei.
Foreign visitors to Japan have increased since the government lifted its COVID-19 border control measures in late April. A weaker yen has also made Japan a more attractive tourist destination, ANA said.