|Founded||August 8, 1996|
|Commenced operations||November 1, 1996|
|Hubs||Osaka International Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||JAL Mileage Bank|
|Parent company||Japan Airlines|
|Headquarters||Ikeda, Osaka, Japan|
|Key people||Tsuyoshi Yamamura (President)|
J-Air Co., Ltd. (株式会社ジェイエア Kabushiki-gaisha Jei Ea ), is a regional commuter airline with its headquarters in the Terminal Building in Nagoya Airfield and in Toyoyama, Nishikasugai District, Aichi, Japan and its main hub at Nagoya Airfield. J-Air previously had its headquarters in Ōmura, Nagasaki Prefecture. Its operations include scheduled passenger services to 16 destinations across regional Japan, under Japan Airlines' flight numbers. The airline has a fleet 19 aircraft, consisting of Bombardier CRJ-200s and Embraer 170s.
J-Air is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan's flag carrier, Japan Airlines (JAL) and an affiliate member of the Oneworld alliance. The airline was founded on August 8, 1996, when JAL restructured JAL Flight Academy and J-Air was separated; and began operations as a separate entity from Hiroshima-Nishi Airport on November 1. Faced with limited opportunities for route expansion at Hiroshima, the airline relocated to its new home at Nagoya Airfield, after the opening of Chūbu Centrair International Airport, on February 17, 2005. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 1999, J-Air, together with its sister airlines within the JAL Group, carried over 32 million passengers and over 1.1 million tons of cargo and mail.
J-Air has been reported by Japanese newspapers and television to be leaving Nagoya Airfield in a phased transition with many flights leaving October 2010 and all flight leaving from the Spring of 2011.
JAL Flight Academy (JFA) was established by Japan Airlines (JAL) in August 1989, as a flight training school subsidiary based at Omura Airport, Nagasaki. It provided conversion training for its flight engineers to become pilots. In April 1991, a new division of JFA was created to operate scheduled services to succeed the troubled Nishi Seto Airlink services, a commuter airline serving cities in western Japan. Since the introduction of the 19-seats Jetstream 31s (JS31) in September 1991, the aircraft progressively replaced the Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante inherited from Nishi Seto.
In August 1996, JAL Flight Academy was restructured, J-Air was separated and established as a wholly owned regional subsidiary airline of Japan Airlines on August 8. On November 1, the airline inaugurated its first flight from Hiroshima-Nishi Airport and was building up service on smaller-demand domestic routes, which larger aircraft could not serve economically. However, the local government subsidy was terminated at the end of the 2000 fiscal year and the airline was required to become self-sufficient. As part of its domestic marketing strategy, JAL found a niche market where the 100-plus-seats Boeing 737s were too large and frequent services were in demand, and began repositioning the airline. Fifty-seats Bombardier CRJ-200s were introduced and progressively replaced the five JS31s until completion in August 2003.
Despite the introduction of the Bombardier CRJ-200s, there were limited opportunities for route expansion from its home at Hiroshima-Nishi Airport. The airline decided to move to Nagoya Airfield, after the opening of Chūbu Centrair International Airport. On February 17, 2005, J-Air realized its dream and relocated to its new home at Nagoya Airfield. In order to strengthen the recognition of the JAL brand and improve customer convenience, the airline disposed its own flight numbers and changed to JAL flight numbers from April 1, 2005.
On April 1, 2007, J-Air, together with four of its sister airlines within the JAL Group, joined Oneworld and became a Oneworld affiliate member. On June 18, JAL signed a purchase agreement with Embraer for ten Embraer 170 jets, with options to acquire another five aircraft. The contract value was worth approximately US$435 million, if all the options are exercised. The aircraft was configured to seat 76 passengers in a single-class layout and was designated for J-Air. The first aircraft was delivered on October 3, 2008, received the type certification from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) on October 27 and operated its first flight in February 2009.
J-Air operates to the following destinations (as of January 2013):
- Akita – Akita Airport
- Aomori - Aomori Airport
- Fukuoka – Fukuoka Airport Focus city
- Iwate-Hanamaki – Hanamaki Airport
- Kitakyūshū - Kitakyushu Airport
- Kōchi – Kōchi Ryōma Airport
- Kumamoto – Kumamoto Airport
- Miyazaki - Miyazaki Airport
- Nagazaki – Nagasaki Airport
- Oita - Oita Airport
- Nanki Shirahama - Nanki-Shirahama Airport
- Nagasaki - Nagasaki Airport
- Niigata – Niigata Airport
- Ōzora - Memanbetsu Airport
- Sapporo – New Chitose Airport
- Sendai – Sendai Airport
- Tokachi-Obihiro – Tokachi-Obihiro Airport
- Tokyo – Haneda Airport
- Yamagata – Yamagata Airport
Aircraft that have been in service with J-Air are (in alphabetical order):
JAL Mileage Bank
JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) is the travel rewards program of JAL Group, including Japan Airlines, JALways, JAL Express, Japan Transocean Air, Japan Air Commuter, Hokkaido Air System and Ryukyu Air Commuter. The program's airline partners also include JAL's Oneworld partners, as well as Air France, China Eastern Airlines and Emirates. For the airline's most frequent flyers, JMB offers Fly On Program, a frequent flyer service status program; and JAL Global Club (JGC), an exclusive club designed for experienced travelers.
The JMB program has no membership fee and mileage will be valid to the last day of the 36th month following the month of the flight or transaction date. In addition, if a JMB member does not accumulate mileage within 36 months after becoming a member, or a JMB member's account remains inactive at zero mileage for a consecutive 36 month period, JAL may withdraw or cancel the membership of such member.
JMB Fly On Program
The Fly On Program is the frequent flyer service status program and is divided into four membership levels, Crystal, Sapphire, JGC Premier and Diamond, based on the member's travel in the last calendar year. Additionally, a minimum of four JAL Group flights on eligible fare classes are required. Members earn Fly On points on eligible fare classes on JAL Group and Oneworld member airlines. These are used to calculate the member's eligibility for membership renewal, upgrade or downgrade during the membership year. Higher-tiered members are provided with increased travel benefits such as bonus mileage, additional baggage allowance, priority boarding and airport lounge access. There are two phases to the Fly On Program service benefits; one begins after two months following qualification for membership and the other begins from April of the following year. Membership is valid until 31 March of the second year following membership qualification.
Crystal level is achieved or retained when the member earns 30,000 Fly On Points or boarding more than 30 flights and minimum of 10,000 Fly On Points. Services and benefits after two months of membership qualification include priority waitlisting, 50 percent bonus mileage, airport lounge access for Japan domestic flights with lounge coupons via mileage deduction, priority check-in at Executive Class counters for international flights, JGC counters and priority baggage for class J on JAL Group domestic flights, 10 kg (22 lb) or one piece of extra baggage allowance, priority boarding on international flights, priority airport standby and class J upgrade with class J coupon via mileage deduction. Services and benefits from April of the following year include 10 upgrade points for complimentary flight upgrades. JMB Crystal membership level is equivalent to Oneworld Ruby tier status, which entitles members to Oneworld Ruby benefits when travelling on a Oneworld member airline.
Sapphire level is achieved or retained when the member earns 50,000 Fly On Points or boarding more than 50 flights and minimum of 15,000 Fly On Points. Additional services and benefits for Sapphire members after two months of membership qualification include 100 percent bonus mileage, JAL or Sakura Lounge access with one guest when flying on JAL Group airline flights. Priority check-in at First Class counters for international flights and JGC counters for Japan domestic flights, priority baggage, 20 kg (44 lb) or two pieces of extra baggage allowance and access to JAL Fast Security Lane. Additional services and benefits for Sapphire members from April of the following year include 20 upgrade points for complimentary flight upgrades. JMB Sapphire members will be invited to join the JGC, which is dedicated to cater for experienced travelers. JMB Sapphire membership level is equivalent to Oneworld Sapphire tier status, which entitles members to Oneworld Sapphire benefits when travelling on a Oneworld member airline.
JGC Premier is achieved or retained when the member earns 80,000 Fly On Points or boarding more than 80 flights and minimum of 25,000 Fly On Points. Additional services and benefits for JGC Premier members after two months of membership qualification include mileage expiry suspension during membership period, First Class and Diamond / Premier Lounge access with one guest when flying on JAL Group airline flights, and priority check-in at First Class counters and priority boarding for both international and domestic flights. Additional services and benefits for JGC Premier members from April of the following year include three complimentary transferable JAL and Sakura Lounge coupons, 30 upgrade points for complimentary flight upgrades, one complimentary JAL Hotels one night stay coupon, five complementary passes to the Century 21 Club and one flower gift coupon. JGC Premier membership level is equivalent to Oneworld Emerald tier status, which entitles members to Oneworld Emerald benefits when travelling on a Oneworld member airline.
The highest membership level in the Fly On Program of the JAL Mileage Bank. Diamond level is achieved or retained when the member earns 100,000 Fly On Points or boarding more than 120 flights and minimum of 35,000 Fly On Points. Additional services and benefits for Diamond members after two months of membership qualification include 125 percent bonus mileage and any seat award tickets with double mileage deduction. Additional services and benefits for Diamond members from April of the following year include 40 upgrade points for complimentary flight upgrades, two complimentary JAL Hotels one night stay coupons and Century 21 Club membership. JMB Diamond membership level is equivalent to Oneworld Emerald tier status, which entitles members to Oneworld Emerald benefits when travelling on a Oneworld member airline.
JAL Global Club
The JAL Global Club is an exclusive club dedicated to catering to JAL Group's most experienced and valuable travelers. Membership is available to JMB members who have earned 50,000 Fly On Points or boarding more than 50 flights and minimum of 15,000 Fly On Points. In addition, membership can be enrolled under JALCARD Club-A, Club-A Gold or JAL's Diners Club membership after payment of an annual fee. Lifetime membership will be given as long as a one-time qualifying member continues to pay the JALCARD annual fee. The Oneworld tier status as a JGC member will depend on the JMB Fly On program membership levels, with the following exception: JGC members will automatically attain Oneworld Sapphire status upon enrollment, regardless of the number of FLY ON Points accumulated in the previous calendar year.
JGC benefits include 3,000 bonus miles for the first JAL Group eligible flight flown every year, JAL or Sakura Lounge access with one guest, priority baggage, 20 kg (44 lb) or two pieces of extra baggage allowance, priority check-in, personlized leather baggage tags, annual gifts of a calendar and a diary and exclusive use of member lounges at designated hotels. In addition, JALCARD Club-A, Club-A Gold and JAL Diners Club holders receive 35 percent JALCARD flight bonus mileage.
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