Japanese airline ZIPAIR started passenger service on Oct 16 with a flight from Tokyo-Narita (NRT) to Seoul-Incheon (ICN).
Sadly only two passengers were onboard the 290-seat Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
The airline is operating the service twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. From late October it is adding a third weekly flight on Sundays.
The low-cost carrier initially planned to start a passenger service between Narita and Bangkok in May, adding Seoul in July.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic it operated the flights with cargo instead of passengers.
ZIPAIR is neither a full-service carrier nor a low-cost carrier. It says it is a basic carrier.
It has 2 Boeing 787-8 aircraft with 290 seats. It offers Business and Economy classes. 18 lie-flat seats in Business and 272 in Economy.
Like most lcc, the airline charges for seat selection, baggage, meals etc.
The aircraft do not have personal monitors on each seat. So passengers have to use their own devices for internet access.
But the airline has announced some interesting stuff that could upset more established airlines:
- free inflight Wi-Fi
- inflight self-ordering and payment for snacks and things
Free inflight Wi-Fi
Passengers can use the internet for free through their smartphones, tablets, or other devices.
ZIPAIR’s B787s will be fitted with Panasonic’s inflight Wi-Fi service.
Inflight self-ordering and payment for snacks and things
Passengers can order and pay for snacks and things using their own devices. The order is processed through the system and the purchased item is delivered to the passenger’s seat by the cabin crew.
Passengers who bought a ticket less than 24 hours prior to departure use self-service check-in kiosks.
ZIPAIR automatically check-in passengers who have bought a ticket 24 hours before departure. After check-in has been completed, a boarding pass is sent to the passenger email address.
Passengers with baggage can use the self-service baggage drops or take it to a check-in desk.
ZIPAIR Tokyo is Japan’s first long-haul international LCC (Low-Cost Carrier) and is wholly owned by Japan Airlines (JAL). Based at Narita International Airport, ZIPAIR Tokyo operates passenger services on the Narita – Seoul route.
It plans to add destinations in future including flights between Narita and Honolulu in Hawaii, a popular destination for Japanese tourists.
Routes: Currently only Tokyo Narita to Seoul.
Fleet: 2 Boeing 787-8
N.B. Image credit: ZIPAIR