Japan Airlines' Zip Air to fly first pan-Pacific low-cost carrier route

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan Airlines Co Ltd's low-cost carrier (LCC) Zip Air will open a new route connecting Tokyo and Los Angeles, saying it will become the first LCC to fly a pan-Pacific route between Asia and North America.

Zip Air, in an announcement on Friday, said the route will open on Dec. 25 and is likely to fly three times a week.

"The coronavirus pandemic had been very hard on the company an airline industry, but luckily we've survived it, and two years after our first commercial flight we have successfully achieved one of our biggest dreams - to open a route connecting Japan and the U.S.," said Zip Air president Shingo Nishida at a news conference held on Friday.

The flight will cost north of 27,500 yen ($240.72) for a standard seat, while a full-reclining seat will retail from 88,000 yen ($770.31). The company aims to price seats at half the cost of full service carriers.

Japan Airlines has previously spoken of plans to bolster its low-cost operations as borders open up following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japan has recently eased travel restrictions for business travellers and students, while the U.S. reopened borders to vaccinated travellers from 33 countries this week.

Zip Air is also seeing an increase in reservations as the country opens up, it said, saying that bookings in the first week of November had increased six-fold compared to September.

($1 = 114.2400 yen)

(Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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