Japanese LCC ZIPAIR Targets Singapore With New Route

Japanese budget airline ZIPAIR announced last week that it would be launching a scheduled service between Tokyo Narita and Singapore. This service, typically over seven hours in duration, is set to commence on September 7th, 2021. Let’s take a look at the details of this flight and which airlines ZIPAIR will be going up against.

Zipair 787
ZIPAIR operates using two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. Both aircraft come from parent company Japan Airlines.  Photo: ZIPAIR

“We are pleased to announce that ZIPAIR is expanding our international network this September and will feature scheduled service to Singapore as our fourth destination. Singapore is not only known as a global financial and logistics hub in Southeast Asia, but also an attractive city featuring a multi-ethnic culture.” -Shingo Nishida, President of ZIPAIR Tokyo

Details of the new service

ZIPAIR’s new service between Tokyo Narita and Singapore Changi is as follows:

  • ZG53: Depart Narita (NRT) at 14:00, arrive in Singapore (SIN) at 20:25.
  • ZG54: Depart Singapore (SIN) at 21:55, arrive at Tokyo Narita (NRT) at 06:05 the next morning.

The schedule is valid between September 7th and October 26th and is subject to government approvals.

The flight duration between the two cities is just over seven hours. Photo: GCMap.com

Primarily for cargo?

Shingo Nishida, President of ZIPAIR, says that the launch of this service is primarily to transport cargo and “support the global supply chain.” Nishida sees this as “the best way to contribute to society today.”

With cargo as the primary mission, the airline’s president says that the carrier can continue to prepare for the day it can welcome back customers to travel freely between various countries and continents.

“Due to the impact of COVID-19, restrictions on entry into both countries are still in effect, but we hope that our new service to Singapore will provide a new convenient option for those who need to travel to and from Japan for business or pleasure.” -Shingo Nishida, President, ZIPAIR

Therefore, with the president’s statement and travel restrictions still quite strict across East Asia, there is a chance that the passenger cabins of these 787s will be on the emptier side.

Zipair cabin
Depending on the situation, come early September, cabins of ZIPAIR’s 787s may remain quite empty. Photo: ZIPAIR

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A strict refund policy

Despite a global environment of uncertainty and shifting travel restrictions, the airline is holding on to a somewhat restrictive refund policy. While many airlines around the world have made it easier to request refunds if passengers have a change in their travel plans, this is not the case for ZIPAIR, with date changes and refunds not permitted.

Indeed, if a passenger decides not to travel after making a reservation, they may only request a refund for a portion of the facility usage fee and/or taxes paid. These will only be refunded if a request is received within 90 days of the date of boarding.

The only instance in which a full refund can be obtained is if a ZIPAIR flight is canceled by the company or due to weather conditions. While this is less than ideal, it’s not completely surprising given that the airline is a low-cost carrier.

What do you think of ZIPAIR’s new service? Let us know by leaving a comment.