The airline said there was no visibility and certainty of a post-pandemic recovery path. Alarmingly, that could sum up most travel companies' predicaments today.
AirAsia Japan has ceased operations, citing flight reductions, cancellations and grounding of aircraft — factors that have “weighed heavily” on the low-cost subsidiary, it announced on Monday.
The airline, part of Malaysia’s low-cost carrier AirAsia Group, had been operating domestic and international flights from its base in Chubu Centrair International Airport, in the Aichi Prefecture in central Japan, since July 2014.
“Travel restrictions and the uncertainties it created have severely curtailed demand for business and leisure travel resulting in flight reductions, cancellations and grounding of aircraft. These factors have weighed heavily on the company’s ability to continue operations,” it said in a statement.
The decision to wind down the airline followed reports last week that directors had met in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the carrier’s future.
The airline employed 300 people, and operated just three aircraft, according to Reuters.
“Despite our unrelenting efforts to sustain operations through successive and wide-ranging cost reduction initiatives, we have concluded that it would be an extremely challenging feat for us to continue operating without any visibility and certainty of a post-pandemic recovery path,” said Jun Aida, representative director and chief operating officer at AirAsia Japan.
While several Latin American carriers have entered bankruptcy in recent months, AirAsia Japan’s demise comes several months after the pandemic’s first airline casualty, with UK regional airline FlyBe winding down in March.
The cessation does not affect other flights into and out of Japan operated by other airlines within the AirAsia Group, which in July reported a first-quarter loss of $187.91 million, its biggest since it listed on the Malaysian bourse in November 2004.
More recently, the group announced it had successfully pivoted the airline into a “digital lifestyle company, anchored on travel.”
Subscribe to Skift Pro
Subscribe to Skift Pro to get unlimited access to stories like these ($30/month)Subscribe Now
Photo Credit: AirAsia Japan had been operating domestic and international flights from its base in Chubu Centrair International Airport since July 2014. AirAsia
Marriott CEO Juggles Growth Ambitions With Plan to Go Net-Zero by 2050
Anthony Capuano revealed an an ambitious sustainability plan at Skift Global Forum on Wednesday, which puts a lot of the onus on franchise owners and partners.
Cameron Sperance and Matthew Parsons, Skift | 3 hours ago
Travel Agent Interest Surge Expected in Post-Pandemic Family Travel
Don’t discount the need for travel agents in the future of travel. Two recent surveys show Americans increasingly want to utilize a travel advisor’s services for post-pandemic vacationing.
Cameron Sperance | 11 hours ago
Travel Needs to Get Ahead of the ‘Great Migration’: Strategist Parag Khanna
The media may be spinning a tale of increased nationalism, but that's not what's actually happening. The travel industry's focus must stay on the world's shifting human mobility patterns where it can play a huge role and reap the benefits.
Lebawit Lily Girma | 19 hours ago