AirAsia’s CEO Tony Fernandes has said he expects to relaunch his Japanese venture in October this year.
The previous AirAsia Japan was disbanded in September 2013 following disagreements between AirAsia and its partner, ANA.
But with new backers, including Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, Fernandes said he is optimistic of resuming operations before the end of the year.
“We don’t control the regulators but AirAsia Japan is looking good and really feeling good,” Fernandes was quoted saying by Malaysia’s Bernama news agency, following the company’s AGM on Monday.
AirAsia Japan has already secured its Air Operator’s Certificate. Based at Nagoya‘s Chubu Centrair International Airport, the low-cost carrier plans to operate both domestic and international routes using a fleet of all-economy class Airbus A320 aircraft.
The previous incarnation of AirAsia Japan has since been rebranded as Vanilla Air, and recently joined the ‘Value Alliance’ along with several other major Asian LCCs, including Tigerair, Scoot and Cebu Pacific.
AirAsia Japan will become the group’s sixth short-haul carrier, following existing operations in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and India.