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Coronavirus upends JAL's launch of budget carrier Zipair

First flight between Narita-Bangkok in May will be put off at least a month

JAL decided to postpone Zipair's launch. No date for the debut of the discount airline has been set as the coronavirus has erased demand for air travel. (Photo by Keiichiro Asahara)

TOKYO -- Japan Airlines has decided to delay the debut of its new budget airline, Zipair Tokyo, as the new coronavirus pandemic squelches demand for air travel and upends the global aviation industry.

Zipair's scheduled first flight between Narita Airport near Tokyo and Bangkok on May 14 will be postponed for at least one month, according to sources at JAL.

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