In October 2020, Star Alliance member airline All Nippon Airways announced plans to launch a new long haul airline subsidiary. The company has today revealed a lot more information, including its first route, pricing, and more. Let’s go over all the details.
In this post:
Basics of AirJapan, All Nippon Airways’ new airline
AirJapan is the name of All Nippon Airways’ new airline subsidiary, which will operate medium and long haul international routes. What should we expect from the airline?
- AirJapan will launch operations in February 2024, initially flying to Southeast Asia, and then expanding its network beyond that
- AirJapan will exclusively operate Boeing 787-8 aircraft
- AirJapan is being launched as part of a business transformation for ANA, intended to “pursue sustainable growth and the ability to quickly respond to a wider range of customer preferences”
- AirJapan won’t be a full service airline or a low cost airline, but rather will “combine the best of both worlds while also featuring Japanese-style ideas and quality” (this is questionable, as I’ll cover below)
- AirJapan’s slogan is “Fly Thoughtful,” and as it’s explained that this “expresses the airline’s caring, thoughtful, and gentle approach”
- The name AirJapan was selected in order to convey to people around the world that the airline is Japanese, and to remind customers that the airline offers “Japanese quality”
- Pricing will be similar to low cost carriers, but the airline will “provide a comfortable cabin space for all passengers”
AirJapan 787s will be in an all-economy layout
AirJapan’s Boeing 787-8s will feature 324 economy seats, with no premium cabin. Seats will have 32″ of pitch, and will be made of Japanese faux leather. Each seat will have USB-A and USB-C ports, as well as tablet holders. While there will be no seatback entertainment, AirJapan will have streaming entertainment that includes movies and TV shows.
AirJapan will have food & drinks for purchase
All AirJapan meals will be available for purchase. It will be possible to book a meal in advance for a set fee, and on top of that meals and snacks can be purchased onboard flights.
In advance, there will be a total of 13 types of meals that can be reserved, including vegetarian meals and other meals that take into consideration dietary restrictions and religions.
On top of that, there will be an extensive lineup of meals, snacks, sweets, and beverages, available onboard for purchase. It’s also funny how the airline highlights how it will contribute to the reduction of food waste by offering packaged food with longer shelf life, as well as freeze-dried products that are “made with Japan’s world-class food processing technology.”
AirJapan will also sell pillows and blankets onboard.
AirJapan will fly to Bangkok as of February 2024
AirJapan’s first route will launch as of February 9, 2024. The airline will fly 6x weekly between Tokyo Narita (NRT) and Bangkok (BKK) with the following schedule:
NQ1 Tokyo to Bangkok departing 5:55PM arriving 11:15PM
NQ2 Bangkok to Tokyo departing 12:15AM arriving 8:10AM
The flight will operate every day except Tuesdays southbound and Wednesdays northbound. The new flight is now on sale.
AirJapan pricing & fare bundles
AirJapan has revealed its pricing for the Tokyo to Bangkok route. Interestingly the airline will have three fare bands with consistent pricing (pricing doesn’t include taxes and fees, but there are no fuel surcharges):
- Simple fares will start at 15,500 JPY (~$109) each way — this includes no optional services
- Standard fares will start at 19,200 JPY (~$135) each way — this includes advance seat selection and a checked bag of up to 23kg
- Selected fares will start at 23,800 JPY (~$167) each way — this includes advance seat selection, two checked bags of up to 23kg, and an in-flight meal
I have to say, that pricing is really attractive, so at least the airline is offering value.
AirJapan flight attendant uniforms
AirJapan has revealed its planned employee uniforms. AirJapan describes the uniforms as embodying the brand’s core values of “kindness to all.” The uniforms have a borderless design, promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce by incorporating gender-neutral options and enabling variations in coordination. Flight attendants will have the options of wearing skirts or pants, and a choice of sneakers or leather shoes.
Okay, I’m not sure what exactly to make of these uniforms. They’re kind of fun, though am I the only one who thinks the second uniform from the left is one you’d also expect a massage therapist to be wearing? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but you typically wouldn’t assume there’s much overlap between flight attendant and massage therapist uniforms.
AirJapan boarding music
As someone who loves boarding music, I appreciate the fact that AirJapan has revealed its boarding music before even launching operations. Here’s how the music is described by Noel Hiyamizu, the composer behind this:
“This ensemble piece combines Japanese and Western instruments. The music’s traditional feel is contrasted by the modern vibe produced by the fresh grooves, and the classic Japanese sounds produced by the shakuhachi and koto complement the ensemble of the Western instruments and celebrate the beginning of a new journey. The title ‘Ai’ encompasses a wide range of meanings including ‘indigo,’ ‘love,’ ‘meetings’ and ‘encounters’ in Japanese.”
This music is AWESOME!
My take on ANA’s AirJapan concept
A few initial thoughts:
- The AirJapan name is interesting, because ANA already has Air Japan, which is the subsidiary with which the airline operates many regional flights
- This new airline concept sounds to me a whole lot like ZIPAIR, which is Japan Airlines’ long haul, low cost airline that operates Boeing 787s; the major difference is that ZIPAIR has a business class product, while AirJapan will exclusively have economy
- This is for all practical purposes an ultra low cost carrier, except the airline offers decent legroom; I appreciate that, since at least the airline will offer a basic level of comfort
I’m not expecting a huge amount of innovation here, but rather just All Nippon Airways copying Japan Airlines… minus business class.
All Nippon Airways plans to launch a new airline in February 2024, which will be named AirJapan. The airline will operate medium and long haul routes, using Boeing 787-8s that are in a one class configuration, featuring 324 seats. While seats will have power ports, they won’t have personal entertainment, but rather will just have streaming options.
Expect AirJapan to launch in February 2024, flying initially between Tokyo Narita and Bangkok.
What do you make of ANA’s new AirJapan airline concept?