April 9, 2015 3:56 am JST
Focus on Asia

With new terminal, Jetstar Japan aims to pull away from rivals

Passengers boarding a flight at the new terminal.

TOKYO -- Jetstar Japan hopes to set itself apart from other low-cost carriers by collaborating better with group airlines to tap demand among travelers from Asia and Australia.

     Jetstar Japan and Australia-based group member Jetstar Airways moved to a new terminal that opened Wednesday at Narita Airport near Tokyo. Terminal 3 is dedicated to low-cost carriers and features simplified designs. Its construction costs came to about 15 billion yen ($123 million), with outlays per square meter 40% cheaper than for the older terminals.

     Airlines are said to pay half as much in fees for check-in counters and baggage claim areas. "We want to reflect the low costs of the new terminal in our fare," Jetstar Japan Chairman Masaru Kataoka said at the terminal's opening ceremony.

     Airport-related spending accounts for about 30% of Jetstar Japan's overall costs. By flying out of the cheaper terminal, the airline seeks to gain an advantage against rivals like Peach Aviation, which does not use the new terminal.

     The benefits of the new facility go beyond just costs. Jetstar Japan has faced intense price competition. Now, it can offer smoother transfers between its domestic flights and international flights of group airlines, gaining a better chance of serving those who travel between Japan's regional cities and abroad.

     Jetstar Japan will also expand services of its own, mainly on relatively close Asian destinations. In February, the company launched its first international flights, between Hong Kong and Kansai Airport in Osaka Prefecture. Starting in June, it will fly to Hong Kong from Narita as well.

(Nikkei)

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