17 Aug '11, 10am
Asia's airlines eye Japan's low-cost boom
TOKYO (AFP) - Despite high landing fees and fuel taxes, Japan has seen a rush by domestic airlines and their overseas partners to set up low-cost carriers in anticipation of booming demand for air travel in Asia. In less than a year, three new so-called LCCs have been unveiled as carriers aim to take demand away from Japan's bullet trains and buses, with an eye on airport capacity increases and rising demand as the economy recovers from the March 11 disasters. All Nippon Airways has stakes in Peach and also in AirAsia Japan, a venture with Malaysia's AirAsia, while Japan Airlines and Australia's Qantas on Tuesday unveiled their Jetstar Japan venture. But they are also positioning themselves against regional rivals to tap into Asia's huge growth potential amid rising affluence in places such as India and China, analysts say.