AirAsia Lays Groundwork In Japan

Following AirAsia supremo Tony Fernandes on Twitter as he travels the globe can often reveal some interesting nuggets about the carrier’s plans. This was certainly the case when he was in Japan this week, as he revealed more about the progress AirAsia is making in its second attempt at starting a low-cost carrier franchise there.

Via a Twitter post on Feb. 13, @tonyfernandes said he was in Japan to “finalize AirAsia Japan,” and confirmed that he has partners for the joint venture. However, AirAsia is still not revealing any more about who the partners are, or when the Japanese carrier will be launched.

Fernandes also posted this photo of the CEO and CFO of AirAsia Japan, indicating that he has a senior leadership team already in place.

In one recent media interview, Fernandes is quoted as saying the Japanese carrier will launch in 2015, and will not be based at Tokyo Narita Airport this time. AirAsia helped launch a Narita-based LCC in 2012 in conjunction with All Nippon Airways, but the partnership was dissolved in October 2013 after the two carriers could not agree on how to move the joint venture towards breakeven.

Apparently there are no hard feelings, at least on Fernandes’ part. In another tweet while en route to Japan, he made a point of thanking ANA, and stressing that the airline has “good guys.” He notes that “not all liked our style but it was fun at the beginning.”

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