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JAL bets new budget airline can go distance to US and Europe

Japanese carrier's Zipair faces challenge of filling passenger and pilot seats

Newly-hired employees of Japan Airlines attend an initiation ceremony. Among the challenges JAL faces in running its new low-fare unit Zipair is securing pilots.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan Airlines has made a wager that a no-frills air travel business model will work on medium- and long-haul flights -- something no domestic rival has attempted given the challenge of maintaining passenger volumes. 

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