Japan Airlines low cost Zipair to fly for Olympics

JAL (Japan Airlines) revealed its new low cost subsidary set up to compete with ANA’s budget airlines Peach/ Vanilla (which are merging in May) as well as Air Asia, Jetstar (owned by Qantas) and Scoot (Singapore).

The newbrand will be known as ZIPAIR TokyoZIP, meaning speedy travel between ZIP CODES and Tokyo presumably to link the airline to next year’s Tokyo Olympic games. I am decidedly underwhelmed by the logo. I pictured something speedy and dashing. Something that zips between zipcodes should be exciting not this:

Screenshot 2019-03-15 at 23.35.09.png

Yes, this is the logo

The font is set in Roman and the colours are:

  • Harmony Gray which provides a feeling of balance and satisfaction with the cost of services provided,
  • Trust Green provides a sense of safety.

I am rather underwhelmed my name and logo so far. My assumption is that ZIPAIR will drop the “Tokyo” part of its name after the Olympics.

The brand concept has three components:

  1. Z Safetybased on JAL’s “high quality operations” and the Boeing 787
  2. Z Human Centric: We will provide services that meet the new needs of a new generation of passenger
  3. Z Value:  Satisfactory prices

They have a year to sort out what this really looks like.

We have seen “Zip” name used before.

zip greem

Each of Zip Canada’s 737s was painted a bright neon colour. Source: Wikipedia

Zip was a discount airline  launched by Air Canada in September 2002 to directly compete with Westjet. Zip lasted until 2004.  Here is an ad from that era:

ZIPAIR Japan will start with just two routes from Tokyo Narita to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi  and Tokyo Narita to Seoul-Incheon during the 2020 Olympics (which will be running from July 24 to August 9, 2020). JAL currently flies one daily flight from Narita to Bangkok and two daily from Tokyo Haneda to Bangkok. They have three daily flights from Haneda to Seoul. It will be interesting to see what impact  ZIPAIR Tokyo’s flights have on JAL’s routes.

They will use JAL supplied 787-8s supplied. Japan’s 787-8s are some of the most spacious in the air with between 161 seats and  206 seats on board. By contrast, Jetstar’s 787-8 has 335 seats and Scoot’s 787 has 336 seats. It will be interesting to see how dense ZIP  go with their seating.

ZIPAIR Tokyo Inc. has applied for its air operator’s certificate and opened up recruitment for airline staff.  If you would like to work for the airline , recruitment site is here.  Briefings will be held in April 2019. They are looking for “spirited” employees.

This is not JAL’s first low cost foray. They own 33.3% of Jetstar Japan along with Qantas (33.3%) and two other Japanese shareholders. Jetstar Japan flies to 18 destinations with 24 Airbus 320s.

Jetstsar A320

Jetstar A320. Source: Wikipedia

I am interested to see if passengers will be able to earn frequent flyer points through the JAL’s Mileage Bank program like you can with Jetstar? Will JAL code share with ZIPAIR as it does with Jetstar Japan?  (Jetstar Japan also code shares with American Airlines and Qantas). Will ZIPAIR ever directly compete head on head on Jetstar routes?

Japan Airlines Co., Ltd (JAL)  is the flag carrier airline of Japan. It is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and has 167 planes flying to 92 airports. Originally government owned at its establishment in 1951,  it has been private since 1987. JAL is rated as a five star airline by Skytrax. Their passengers rate them 7 out of 10. I have only flown them once.

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