Jul 01 1998
NEW JAL SUBSIDIARY JAL EXPRESS STARTS BUSINESS JULY 1ST
JAL's newest airline subsidiary, JAL Express (JEX), inaugu-rates service on July 1 from Osaka's Itami Airport to Miya-zaki and Kagoshima, major cities on Kyushu, southernmost of Japan's four main islands.
After a tape-cutting ceremony attended by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, special ambassadors from Tokyo Disneyland, for which parent JAL is the official airline, flight JC671 will head for Miyazaki at 7.40 a.m., followed by flight JC333 to Kagoshima at 10.50 a.m.
Initially JEX will operate two flights a day to each desti-nation using 737-400 aircraft. JAL operated the routes up to June 30, also with 737-400 aircraft.
JAL Express is JAL's low-cost response to the regional domestic air travel market, providing the right levels of capacity on low-density, yet important regional routes, at a lower overhead than the present JAL corporate structure provides. JAL estimates cost savings of up to 20 percent should be possible with the new subsidiary, which was incor-porated April 1 1997. JEX, capitalized at Y=400 million is wholly-owned by JAL.
JEX cabin attendants are called the JEX 'Sky Cast' and among their duties are cleaning the 150-seat cabin between flights. Cockpit crew include Japan and non-Japanese pilots. All the new airline's cockpit and cabin crew will be sta-tioned at Osaka's Itami Airport.
Maintenance support for the new airline will be provided by JAL and Naha (0kinawa)-based Japan Transocean Airlines (JTA), which operates 737 aircraft (JTA is 51% JAL-owned).
In future the new airline may also perform wet-lease opera-tions for JAL as well as operating its own route network, which in future could include short-haul international routes. By early in the next century (2005-2010), the JAL Express fleet could include 15 to 20 aircraft, including Boeing 767 equipment, depending on route development.