ZIPAIR applies for Tokyo – Honolulu, a market of 1.9 million seats in 2019

ZIPAIR applies for Tokyo – Honolulu, a mature market of 1.9 million seats in 2019 (2)

ZIPAIR has applied to the US Department of Transportation to launch service between Tokyo Narita and Honolulu, the first of what it expects to be various US routes.  If approved, the start-up LCC is expected to operate the route from 25 October using 290-seat Boeing 787-8s. This application comes as ZIPAIR postpones Tokyo Narita – Bangkok to an unknown future date, although Seoul Incheon is still expected to commence on 1 July.

Japan – Hawaii is a market of four million seats

The whole Japan – Hawaii market is mature and grew by a CAGR of just 1.7% between 2010 and 2019. Last year, eight airlines offered non-stop service between the two.  With 1.1 million seats, ZIPAIR’s parent, Japan Airlines, was by far the number-one operator, followed by Hawaiian Airlines (948,000), All Nippon (692,000), and Delta Air Lines (507,000).

ZIPAIR applies for Tokyo – Honolulu, a mature market of 1.9 million seats in 2019

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

2017 – 2019 had no growth, but interesting market changes

AirAsia X entered the Japan – Hawaii market in June 2017 with a four-weekly Kuala Lumpur – Osaka Kansai – Honolulu service.  Not to be outdone, it was joined in December that year by Scoot, with a four-weekly Singapore – Osaka Kansai – Honolulu operation.  While AirAsia X’s Hawaii seats grew 29% in 2019, to 259,000, Scoot ended service in May.  This was reportedly from weak demand.  However, it’s probably more from lower yields from AirAsia X competition and the high costs of the entire routing, together with the changes at that time within the Singapore Airlines Group.   

ZIPAIR applies for Tokyo – Honolulu, a mature market of 1.9 million seats in 2019 (2)

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

All Nippon grows strongly from A380s and Delta’s Narita exit

All Nippon added almost a third more seats to its Hawaii network last year, mainly from an additional 160,000 on Tokyo Narita – Honolulu as a result of introducing its 520-seat A380 in May. Delta Air Lines, meanwhile, cut 52,000 seats on this airport-pair from its pulldown at Narita.  It has now ended service at Narita in favour of Haneda. Interestingly, Tokyo, unlike Osaka, has no lower-priced option to Honolulu, despite its much larger existing market.  So the gap that ZIPAIR sees.

Tokyo Narita – Honolulu has 48% of Japan – Hawaii market

Tokyo Narita – Honolulu is by far the single largest airport-pair between Japan and Hawaii, with 1.9 million seats last year.  This had a 69% share of Japan – Hawaii capacity in 2010, down from 48% from three more routes – five to eight – between the two and stagnant Narita – Honolulu.

ZIPAIR applies for Tokyo – Honolulu, a mature market of 1.9 million seats in 2019

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.


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