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Zipair to Launch Tokyo to Vancouver Route
The Japanese airline's newest route will be the carrier's entry to the Canadian market.
Japanese low-cost carrier Zipair is launching a new route between Tokyo Narita International Airport and Vancouver International Airport. The new service will be the airline’s first route to a Canadian destination.
Zipair’s New Vancouver Service
As reported by Yahoo Japan, Zipair’s President Shingo Nishida has stated that the new Tokyo Narita–Vancouver route will launch in March of 2024. The airline will initially operate three flights per week in each direction but plans to increase the frequency to a daily service. A spokesperson for the Vancouver Airport Authority told Canadian media outlet Daily Hive that the airport is working with Zipair to finalize the schedule.
The route will be operated by the airline’s only aircraft type, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The carrier’s aircraft are configured with 18 business class seats and 272 economy class seats for a total of 290 seats. Zipair offers an unbundled low-cost product on all its flights. For example, its lie-flat business class seats do not have entertainment screens and the base fares for both seating types do not include checked bags or meals.
Nishida stated that the airline is aiming to price tickets at half of what is being offered by full-service carriers. He added that typical round-trip economy fares for the Tokyo–Vancouver route are approximately 200,000 Japanese Yen ($1320), meaning that Zipair would be looking to price their flights at around 100,000 Japanese Yen.
Zipair’s Expanding Network
Since starting operations in June 2020, Zipair has expanded its network to a total of eight destinations – four in Asia and four in the United States. Zipair’s U.S. destinations include Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose. The airline is based at Tokyo Narita International Airport. Formally known as Zipair Tokyo, the low-cost carrier is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan Airlines.
Zipair operates a fleet of seven Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, with an eighth aircraft to be added early in the new year and another two to be added by the end of 2024. Last month, it was reported that Zipair was looking to expand its network to new North American destinations, with Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver being the options that were under consideration. Given that the airline plans to have a ten-aircraft fleet by the end of 2024, it is likely that the airline will add more new routes in the coming months.
A High-Demand but Competitive Market
Zipair will be joining three other carriers in the Tokyo–Vancouver market. Air Canada and Japan Airlines each currently operate a daily service between Vancouver and Tokyo Narita and All Nippon Airways has a daily Tokyo Haneda service.
Most notably, Zipair will be directly competing with its parent company, Japan Airlines. However, this is also the case on three out of Zipair’s four current transpacific routes.
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