Tokyo: Japan Airlines announced on Monday it will launch an international low-cost carrier business to be operational by 2020.
Japan's formerly state-owned flag carrier will focus on middle-distance flights between Narita International Airport and other Asian air hubs as well as connections to Europe and the Americas, Efe news reported citing a JAL statement issued on Monday.
The new low-cost airline will begin operations in the summer of 2020, coinciding with the Tokyo Olympics, an event Japan has used to boost its popularity as a tourist destination.
JAL already has a minority stake in regional low-cost airline Jetstar and is now following in the steps of rival ANA, which in March announced the merger of its low-cost subsidiaries Peach Aviation and Vanilla Air in order to expand operations.
The new airline, the name of which is yet to be announced, will also operate domestic flights across Japan, a market where low-cost carriers are used by less than 10 per cent of passengers -- a much lower market share compared to other Asian or European countries.