Japan Airlines' ZIPAIR low-cost carrier to start flights next year

TOKYO, March 8 (Reuters) - Japan Airlines on Friday named its new low-cost carrier (LCC) ZIPAIR, and said it will connect Narita airport near Tokyo with Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Incheon airport near Seoul next year, as demand for budget air travel grows in Asia.

The operator of the LCC service offering medium to long-haul flights, ZIPAIR Tokyo, said it aimed to eventually offer trans-Pacific and European flights as well, and to turn profitable in two years after the maiden flight in summer 2020.

ZIPAIR plans to start operating with two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners.

Japan Airlines, which operates the short-haul low-cost Jetstar Japan joint venture with Australia’s Qantas Airways , is setting up ZIPAIR to compete against domestic rival ANA Holdings Inc’s budget arm Peach.

Reporting by Maki Shiraki, Kiyoshi Takenaka; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise