AirAsia Japan confirms closure

AirAsia Japan has confirmed that it will be ceasing operations after struggling to cope with the slump in air travel since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

‘Travel restrictions and the uncertainties it created have severely curtailed demand for business and leisure travel resulting in flight reductions, cancellations and grounding of aircraft. These factors have weighed heavily on the Company’s ability to continue operations,’ reads a statement from AirAsia.

The airline, which is unit of Malaysian budget airline AirAsia Group, has been operating domestic and international flights from its base in Chubu Centrair International Airport in Japan since July 2014. 

Last week, media reports began to emerge that the airline group would be shutting down its Japan operations, with the official announcement coming on 5 October. 

‘Despite our unrelenting efforts to sustain operations through successive and wide-ranging cost reduction initiatives, we have concluded that it would be an extremely challenging feat for us to continue operating without any visibility and certainty of a post-pandemic recovery path’, said representative director and COO of AirAsia Japan, Jun Aida.

‘We have cancelled all flights. All affected guests will be contacted via email with further information within the next 7 days’.

The shutdown affects all domestic and international flights operated by AirAsia Japan with the letter code DJ, but does not affect other flights into and out of Japan operated by other airlines within the AirAsia Group.

AirAsia says international services to Japan, from Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines will resume ‘in the future’, depending on when travel restrictions are lifted and borders with Japan reopen.