AirAsia returns to Japan Market

TOKYO - AirAsia, the region's biggest budget carrier, picked e-commerce company Rakuten as one of its partners for a second attempt at Japans aviation market after pulling out of a tie-up with ANA last year.

AirAsia, the region's biggest budget carrier, picked e-commerce company Rakuten as one of its partners for a second attempt at Japans aviation market after pulling out of a tie-up with ANA last year.

AirAsia will take a 49% stake in the new carrier, Rakuten 18% and cosmetics producer Noevir Holdings 9% with sporting goods vendor Alpen holding 5%, according to a statement released on Tuesday. Octave will own 19%. Flights will start next year.

Sepang, Malaysia-based AirAsia ended its venture with ANA last year due to a disagreement over strategy, with the Tokyo-based carrier re-starting the carrier as Vanilla Air in December. Competition among low-fare airlines is increasing in Japan with three budget carriers starting flights in 2012, and a fourth, Spring Airlines Japan set to start operations next month.

AirAsia didnt give details about routes.

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