Talia Avakian
May 14, 2018

Checking Japan off your bucket list could soon be cheaper than ever: The country's flag carrier just announced it's launching a new budget airline. 

Japan Airlines (JAL)'s new low-cost carrier will fly passengers to and from Japan and other destinations across Asia, Europe, and the Americas starting in the summer of 2020. 

While details like the airline's name, its exact destinations, and ticket prices have yet to be announced, JAL representatives said flights will operate from Narita International Airport and will operate on two Boeing 787-8 aircrafts to start. 

Though the airline holds a minority stake in Jetstar Japan, which is known for offering short-distance flights on a budget, this will be the airline’s first time launching its own budget carrier.

Low-cost carriers only currently account for about 10 percent of passenger flights in Japan, according to the Japan Times, with full-service carriers like JAL and All Nippon Airways (ANA) dominating the airfield. 

“Full-service airlines typically have high costs, but in Japan this is especially so; Japan needs new platforms to capture foreign visitors,” Will Horton, senior analyst at CAPA Center for Aviation, told Reuters.

This is what JAL plans to provide with its new budget carrier, just in time for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. 

The news comes shortly after ANA Holdings announced its own plans to integrate its two subsidiary low-cost carriers, Peach Aviation Limited and Vanilla Air Inc., into its network by 2019 “with the goal to become the leading low cost carrier in the Asian region.” 

Other airlines are also jumping into the market, with AirAsia Japan relaunching its low-cost flights from Nagoya to Sapporo in October of 2017. 

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