All of Japan is getting involved in the Tokyo 2020 prep, even airlines
PLENTY IS BEING DONE in Japan to prepare for the next event on the Olympic calendar, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
From building The Aquatics Centre and The Musashino Forest Sport Plaza to a new railway line to link both Haneda Airport and Narita International Airport, and right down to pushing for a smoking ban, Japan is pulling out all stops to make the return of the Games to the country a successful one.
The Japanese government hopes to boost the number of foreign visitors from 28.7 million last year to 40 million in 2020. And even airlines are getting involved.
Just today, Japan Airlines (JAL) announced plans to launch a budget airline, a move that will see the company take a share of the pie in the nation’s low-cost market’s expected expansion.
The as-yet-unnamed airline will run medium-haul international services between Tokyo and other major cities in Asia, the US and Europe from summer 2020 with two wide-body Boeing 787-8 aircraft, JAL said in a statement.
It will be based at Narita International Airport.
JAL said it will invest JPY10 billion to JPY20 billion (US$91.44 million to US$182.88 million) in the business, with the aim of reaching profitability within three years.
It may also seek other investors to expand the budget airline’s business model.
But JAL isn’t the only one that has got its strategy down pat ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics.
In March, rival ANA Holdings. the parent company of full-service airline All Nippon Airways (ANA), announced plans to integrate its low-cost carrier affiliates Peach Aviation and Vanilla Air to create the nation’s biggest budget carrier after Jetstar.
The middle-distance international carrier, which will be named Peach, is scheduled to begin services in Asia in around 2020.
Despite the low-cost carrier market getting crowded in Asia with airlines such as AirAsia, Jetstar, Scoot, and Tiger Airways, the take-up is a little slower in Japan due to its market being dominated by full-services airlines.
However, Japan’s low-cost carrier market is expected to expand from about 10 percent of domestic flight passengers to some 30 percent in the near future.
The upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will feature 339 gold medals, more than 11,000 athletes, 206 nations, and five new sports: baseball and softball, karate, sport climbing, surfing, and skateboarding.