Jetstar Japan's first flight takes off from Narita Airport on Tuesday morning. (ANN/The Yomiuri Shimbun)
Budget airline Jetstar Japan launched its maiden flight from Narita Airport to New Chitose Airport near Sapporo on Tuesday morning, intensifying competition in the air industry in the year dubbed the start of "the low-cost carrier era."
Jetstar Japan's first flight, which took off at 8:47 a.m., was fully booked and carried 180 passengers.
The carrier, which is backed by Japan Airlines, is the nation's second low-cost airline, following the debut of Kansai Airport-based Peach Aviation--partly backed by All Nippon Airways--in March.
In August, Narita Airport-based AirAsia Japan, another ANA-backed budget carrier, will hit the skies.
Jetstar was jointly set up in September 2011 by Japan Airlines, Qantas Airways and Mitsubishi Corp.
The budget carrier has sought to differentiate itself by introducing "a lowest-price guarantee system" under which it promises to beat any rival airline's fare on the same route if a customer finds a cheaper ticket price.
Jetstar's one-way fares from Narita Airport to New Chitose Airport range from 4,490 yen to 22,990 yen, much cheaper than the 33,500 yen charged by major airlines.
Jetstar's first flight for Fukuoka Airport from Narita, which took off at 1:28 p.m., also was fully booked.
Jetstar will start operating flights from Narita to Naha and Kansai airports Monday.
On Aug. 24, the airline will start flying between Kansai and New Chitose and Fukuoka airports.