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AirAsia to launch 3 routes between Taiwan and Japan

03/19/2024 08:33 PM
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Photo courtesy of AirAsia
Photo courtesy of AirAsia

Taipei, March 19 (CNA) Budget airline AirAsia Group announced Tuesday it will launch three routes connecting Taipei and Kaohsiung to Japan later this year, as part of a strategic expansion into the Northeast Asian market.

AirAsia said in a press release that its sister company AirAsia X will operate daily flights from Taipei to Tokyo (Narita) starting May 31 using the Airbus A330 family wide-body aircraft.

Meanwhile, AirAsia X subsidiary Thai AirAsia will launch daily flights between Taipei and Okinawa from June 15, as well as four weekly flights from Kaohsiung to Tokyo (Narita) starting June 16, both using A320 aircraft.

All flights will operate as an extension of existing flight services, through what is known as the fifth-freedom right, according to AirAsia.

The right refers to the right of an airline to carry passengers from one's own country to a second country, and from that country to a third country.

The Taipei-Tokyo route is an extension of AirAsia X's Kuala Lumpur-Taipei route, while Thai AirAsia's Kaohsiung-Tokyo and Taipei-Okinawa flights are extensions of its Bangkok-Kaohsiung and Bangkok-Taipei routes, respectively.

"We believe that the launch of this new route can boost tourism opportunities between Taipei and Japan, and we look forward to more route expansion in the future," said AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail in a press release, referring to the Taipei-Tokyo flights.

Citing a report from the Japan National Tourism Organization, AirAsia said the tourism industry in Japan has recovered to 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels, with a total of 25 million foreign visitors to the country last year.

Among the visitors, Taiwanese made up a total of 4.2 million visitors, showing Japan remains the top travel destination for Taiwan, according to AirAsia.

The AirAsia Group currently operates nine routes from Taiwan, including Taipei to Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Manila, and Cebu, and Kaohsiung to Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Bangkok.

(By Wang Shu-fen and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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