Airbus has now delivered 100 commercial aircraft to Japanese carriers, with the delivery on March 15 of Jetstar Japan’s 10th Airbus A320.
Although Airbus saw hardly any market penetration amnong Japanese carriers for decades, because Japan’s two largest airlines are among Boeing’s most loyal customers, the number of Airbus jets operated by airlines based in Japan is now rapdily growing, according to the manufacturer.
In a nine-month period since beginning operations in July 2012, Jetstar Japan has grown its all-Airbus fleet to 10 aircraft.
“With an increasing Airbus single-aisle fleet, we are in an excellent position to benefit from this growing market and to expand our business sustainably,” says Miyuki Suzuki, president of Jetstar Japan.
Airbus delivered its first aircraft to a Japanese carrier in 1980 (an A300B2 for Toa Domestic Airways, which later merged with Japan Airlines) and in the last two years deliveries have accelerated rapidly, according to the company.
In 2012 Airbus delivered 16 A320s to airlines in Japan, and in 2013 it expects to deliver 28 A320s to four Japanese operators. In addition to Jetstar Japan, the other three Japanese carriers due to receive new A320s in 2013 are almost certainly AirAsia Japan, Peach Aviation and StarFlyer.
Airbus says its increasing market penetration in Japan is being boosted by new low-cost airlines, all of which have chosen all-Airbus fleets for their operations.
In years to come deliveries to Japanese carriers will also include A330s and A380s, with Skymark Airlines – whose single-aisle fleet, ironically, is all-Boeing 737-800 – ordering six Airbus A330-300s and six Airbus A380 superjumbos to begin widebody operations.
Jetstar Japan started operations in July 2012. The company is a joint venture among the Qantas Group, Japan Airlines, Mitsubishi Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. Jetstar Japan now operates an all-Airbus fleet of 10 leased A320s and this will grow to 24 A320s by the end of 2014.
As of today, more than 9,100 Airbus A320-family aircraft have been sold worldwide and more than 5,400 aircraft delivered to more than 380 customers and operators.