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ITAMI, Hyogo Pref. — New domestic airliner JAL Express (JEX) launched its first flight Wednesday morning here from Osaka airport, taking 150 passengers to Miyazaki.

The airline, affiliated with Japan Airlines, is the first domestic carrier based in the Kansai region. JEX said it will operate eight flights a day linking the airport with Miyazaki and Kagoshima, and plans to take over more domestic flights from its parent company and introduce two new planes each year.

JEX President Toshio Yoshida said at the opening ceremony Wednesday that the carrier will offer safe flights and fresh and casual service, adding that it hopes to gradually expand routes.

While airlines are facing increasing competition, JEX aims to reduce operating costs by hiring foreign pilots and having flight attendants clean the planes’ interiors and handle passengers at the gate, according to the company. The airline is offering discounts of between 25 percent and 50 percent during its first month of operations, and the first flight was filled to capacity.

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