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ANA budget carrier to take hiatus

JIJI

The low-cost carrier currently known as AirAsia Japan, part of the ANA Holdings Inc. group, will suspend service during November and relaunch under a new name in December, sources said.

ANA Holdings decided on the suspension to replace aircraft, renew services and fully review flight routes after it took full control of the carrier last month by ending its partnership with AirAsia, Malaysia’s budget airline, the sources said Thursday.

AirAsia Japan will make a fresh start in December under a new name to be decided this month, they said.

The Malaysian airline pulled the plug on AirAsia Japan due chiefly to the joint venture’s poor performance. After starting operations last August, AirAsia Japan logged an operating loss of ¥3.5 billion in the year that ended in March.

ANA Holdings, the parent of All Nippon Airways, is set to end the use of the AirAsia brand on Oct. 31 by returning all planes currently in use to the Malaysian company.

The one-month halt in operations will be necessary for crew members and other staff to get accustomed to new planes, the sources said, adding the reborn LCC will continue using Narita airport as its base.