business

Budget carrier AirAsia Japan unable to refund 23,000 air tickets

29 Comments

The Japanese unit of Malaysia's budget airline AirAsia Group said Tuesday it has filed for bankruptcy due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on travel demand, with a lawyer saying the unit is unable to refund around 23,000 air tickets.

In seeking protection from creditors, AirAsia Japan Co becomes the first airline company operating in Japan to go bankrupt due to the pandemic. Its total liabilities were 21.7 billion yen ($208 million), the airline said.

Tamotsu Ueno, a court-appointed lawyer handling the company's protection from creditors, said at a press conference that refunds were not possible for around 23,000 tickets directly purchased from AirAsia Japan.

The total worth of tickets yet to be refunded is estimated at 520 million yen, including tickets purchased via travel agencies.

Ueno also said AirAsia Japan will ask shareholders including e-commerce company Rakuten Inc for help on the remaining refunds.

Customers could receive credits for other flights operated by the group, instead of cash refunds, the lawyer added.

AirAsia Japan, based in Tokoname, Aichi Prefecture, said in October it would end all flights connecting Chubu Centrair International Airport in the prefecture with Sapporo, Sendai and Fukuoka as well as Taipei by Dec 5.

The budget airline relaunched services in Japan with new partners including Rakuten in 2017, after withdrawing in 2013.

It grounded all flights in April due to the spread of the coronavirus. It resumed domestic flights in August, but the number of passengers remained low and all of its services were suspended again in October.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

29 Comments
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Never flew with them due to their penny pinching and inflexible attitudes.

It is a pity that most people won’t get anything back but that is to be expected...

16 ( +21 / -5 )

There is very high demand for cargo, switch operations and they won't be folding, I am just dreaming, even if they did, they will join the existing cartel and price themselves out of the market with insane rates, preferring to fly empty planes than charging moderately, Pity the foit soldiers who have lost their jobs due to the incompetence of the fools on fat wages running the company,

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Another company kicks the bucket and we will continue to read how the unemployment rate continues to stay at 2.3 percent and Vietnamese are being brought in due to acute labor shortage, The funny part is most believe it even those in the mainstream media who parrot the message.

27 ( +28 / -1 )

Tamotsu Ueno, a court-appointed lawyer handling the company's protection from creditors, said at a press conference that refunds were not possible for around 23,000 tickets directly purchased from AirAsia Japan.

Customers and employees left high and dry but don't worry the lawyers and execs will make out fine.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

I’ve flown with the airline several times. Despite their notoriously low cabin temperature, their fight attendants were always nice and attentive. I feel sorry for them.

8 ( +19 / -11 )

I've flown them a few times within Southeast Asia, and they were fine for the 1 hour hops and damn good value. Sad to see them go.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Are airline tickets not protected like in other countries?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

sadly not Zichi - Outside the EU (which is therefore the exception) you are pretty much unprotected full stop in these situations.

Do feel sorry for the staff of course, they won't be the last. Asiana Airlines was absorbed into Korean Air this week to, I do not know how many jobs were lost.

Don't think this is the right forum to complain about their penny pinching @kurisupisu. If you fly an LCC you should pretty much know what to expect.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Flew with them once a few years ago. When the plane landed, staff walked down the centre isle spaying some kind of chemical which seemed like fly spray, the whole cabin fogged up and people were coughing and covering their faces.

I was on a connecting flight, they then did the same again when we landed at the second destination.

When I tried to write a review on an independent flight review website. They rejected my review because they did not believe me. I wish I had read a review like this before booking my flight.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Air Asia can justifiably call in the corona virus as the main cause for bankruptcy but bad management in Japan is certainly a big factor also.

those of you thinking LCC ‘s are cheap. They are not as the business model depends on huge subsidising by local government, cities and airport authorities and that bill is paid by all taxpayers

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Sorry to see them go because I did take advantage of their dirty cheap flights when I was backpacking in South East Asia. I remember one time I was In Kualar Lumpur, and Just decided to go to Langkawi an Island about 1 hour from KL. Me & GF just walked to AirAsia ticketing asked to purchase to return tickets KL- Langkawi, and it was 6000円 round trips for 2 people :)

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

@zichi

Are airline tickets not protected like in other countries?

Protection only goes as far as forcing companies to refund tickets or indemnify individuals. But the downside of bankruptcy is that the creditor becomes unable to receive compensation because the largest creditors come first. So when a company files for bankruptcy and their assets are divided, the largest creditors are the first paid and if anything is left, it can go to the smallest creditors. Ticket holders are the smallest.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

JJ Jetplane - In the EU you are protected 100% from airlines going bust.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Yes, If you fly an LCC you should pretty much know what to expect.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Air Asia can justifiably call in the corona virus as the main cause for bankruptcy but bad management in Japan is certainly a big factor also.

It's very hard, may I say impossible, to compete with ANA and JAL, when they are backed by the government and any mismanagement and anti-competitive practices will be covered by taxpayer funds.

It's just another example of a foreign company's life made extremely difficult here.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

I'm sorry Zoroto , but when have ANA taken taxpayers money? I don't recall that.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

I never used low budget airline. even if i have to pay more I'll use ANA or JAL. and BA on international .

Budget carriers are cheap but security, safety, food are things i pay attention to.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Bummer. I always liked them when traveling around SE Asia. No frills and you have to pay for food and beverages separately. But 500 yen Malaysian bentos they serve are so much better than the almost inedible food you get on say United or even ANA. A lot of value for the price

5 ( +8 / -3 )

theResidentToday  09:38 am JST

I'm sorry Zoroto , but when have ANA taken taxpayers money? I don't recall that.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Transportation/ANA-seeks-2.8bn-loan-from-Japan-government-lender

You can bet they got that 'Loan', on the quiet.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Borrowing from DBJ is NOT a bailout.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

Who mentioned bailout?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

@theResident

In the EU you are protected 100% from airlines going bust.

I didn't know that. I'm American so I've dealt mostly with the American side of things. For America, ticket holders become just another creditor with a claim standing in line when an airline company goes bust.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Borrowing from DBJ is NOT a bailout.

Where do you think the money DBJ has comes from? That was my point.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

I used them many times. Most flight involve a stopover in KL. For the transit you can pop out of the airport and I have a favorite food hall 1 min walk away. Traditional food for less than a dollar.

i worry about future travel. It seems the age of gap year and backpacking has finished.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Fly rubbish airlines, expect rubbish treatment.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Just don’t call it price span. It’s always a price circle, which means that right next to the cheapest is located the most expensive price.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@JJ Jetplane - Yes - you are protected from an awful lot in Europe IF you a flying a European carrier, from delays all the way up Bankruptcy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Feel sorry for the staff and passengers who lost their money. Have used them twice, ok budget airline and dirt cheap.

Having said that, less than a week ago I got an email from them notifying me that my points were about to expire so I should book a flight before I lose my points, what was that? Pretty sneaky way to squeeze out some money before declaring bankruptcy!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

drluciferToday 07:07 am JST

Another company kicks the bucket and we will continue to read how the unemployment rate continues to stay at 2.3 percent and Vietnamese are being brought in due to acute labor shortage, The funny part is most believe it even those in the mainstream media who parrot the message.

Yes. And only the one going to Hello Work, searching for a job are accounted .

https://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/roudou/qa-1.html

The unemployment rate, defined as the percentage of the unemployed to the total labour force (sum of the employed and unemployed), is calculated as follows:Unemployment rate (%) = (Unemployed / Labour force) x 100

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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