JAL Business Aviation, the new business aviation joint venture between Japan Airlines (JAL) and Marubeni, is on track for launch in the first half of 2019.
The company will not own an aircraft fleet, but will mainly provide logistical support for business jet operations, such as charter flights and aircraft management, and provide operational and concierge services to business jet operators and to customers flying to Japan.
The startup noted, however, that there is work that needs to be done to develop the country’s infrastructure and change the public’s perception of business aviation.
“At this point, there are limited infrastructures and various restrictions still in place for the Japanese business jet aviation market,” said a JAL spokesperson. “It is still a very regulated industry and we hope that there will be some deregulation in the coming years.”
“Also, we need to change the public's perception to view these services as a business tool and not just a luxurious transportation option,” he added. “In general, the Japanese market is inexperienced in utilizing business jets when compared to other economically advanced countries. With this said, there is a potential for future growth in this unique market.”
The company will mainly operate from Tokyo's metropolitan area but, in the future, has capabilities to operate from JAL's domestic operating bases within Japan.
The flag-carrier announced the new start-up in January, with a paid-up capital of 150 million yen ($1.36 million). JAL owns 51 percent of the venture with Marubeni owning the remaining 49 percent. The entity is co-managed by JAL’s Kiyoshi Iwaki and Marubeni’s Ryusuke Konto.