ZIPAIR is a Japanese low cost carrier owned by Japan Airlines. It launched during the pandemic with a hub at Tokyo Narita airport and flights to Singapore, Seoul, Bangkok, Honolulu and Los Angeles. San Jose flights are planned at the end of the year. They fly 4 Beoing 787-8 aircraft leased from Japan Airlines with 8 business class and 272 coach seats.
Right now a business class roundtrip might run $4000 between Los Angeles and Tokyo, while ZIPAIR is selling business class for just $1643 – or less.
You can purchase at this price on the ZipAir.net website, where I see it as $1639 at current exchange rates.
They call their business product “ZIP Full-Flat” and you can think of it like the Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat, which is to say that you are buying a fully flat seat at the price and not extras. You don’t even get a seat assignment or included checked bags. You even pay extra for a meal!
- Seat assignments are $18
- A checked bag starts at $50
- 7kg carry on bag is free, an extra 5kg is $42
And I think I want to fly them just for the inflight merchandise you can pre-purchase.
Amenity kits are for purchase, and so is lounge access in Tokyo ($11.35 for the Narita TraveLounge including one complimentary alcohol beverage or dessert).
Japan is only semi-open, but many expect it to become easier to enter by fall.
In general I find that “basic business” just doesn’t work but that’s because airlines charge too much for the extras – $11 lounge access and sub-$20 seat assignments are reasonable enough to work, but note that the airfares themselves are so much cheaper that the fees certainly don’t make up the difference.
This is exactly the kind of product I’d consider as a leisure traveler, a reasonably-priced bed and you’re not overpaying for the rest of the extras.
(HT: Premium Flights who flags availability October through March)