Japan’s newest low-cost carrier ZIPAIR has had a rocky start. The airline was forced to delay its launch twice due to travel restrictions. Then, when it finally operated its first passenger flight in October, five months later than planned, it only carried two passengers. But the airline has not been put off by the rather shaky start and is now looking to add flights from Bangkok to its schedule later this month.
One-way passenger flights
Last week, ZIPAIR undertook its first passenger flight connecting Tokyo’s Narita Airport to Seoul. Now, the airline has announced its second route, which will connect Narita to Bangkok. The flight will operate five times per week, starting on October 28th. However, the flight will only operate one way.
The airline says that initially, the flight will return Japanese citizens in Thailand to Japan. FlightZG52 will leave Bangkok at 23:30 and arriving in Narita at 07:15 the following day. The passenger flights will operate from Wednesday through to Sunday. The Tuesday flight will be cargo-only.
In addition to the Tuesday cargo flight from Bangkok to Narita, the airline will also fly cargo flights leaving Narita at 16:40 and arriving in Bangkok at 22:00. These flights will carry cargo only every day except for Monday.
Tickets for the passenger’s flights go on sale later today. ZIPAIR will operate its Boeing 787-8 on the route with seats for 290 passengers. Economy class will have 272 seats in addition to the 18 business class seats with lie-flat seats. Tickets prices begin at 15,000 Baht (US $481) up to 61,000 Baht (US $1,956) for business class.
The airline was set to launch its route to Bangkok in May but had to postpone the launch due to international travel restrictions. However, ZIPAIR did manage to start operating cargo flights in June. The airline claimed that the strong demand for cargo operations in the area meant it covered costs despite only carrying two passengers on its first flight.
In fact, the airline is looking to ramp up its Narita to Seoul operations. From October 25th, ZIPAIR will operate the flight three times per week, up from two. And the airline has even bigger dreams than just operating flights within the region. It’s also eyeing up flights to cross the Pacific. The airline previously announced plans to fly to Hawaii. The flight was due to launch later this month, but with travel restrictions still firmly in place, this is extremely unlikely.
But ZIPAIR has shown it is not averse to overcoming problems in unusual ways. It’s one-way passenger flights from Bangkok proves that this airline is willing to try something new in this difficult time. Perhaps we will see flights to Hawaii soon.
What do you think of ZIPAIR’s new flight schedule? Do you think one-way passenger flights will be a success while travel restrictions remain in place? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.