(MENAFN - AFP) One of Japan's biggest travel agencies said Tuesday it would set up a charter airline based in the Thai capital Bangkok as demand for air travel in Asia soars.
H.I.S. said its Asia Pacific Airlines would begin operating flights in the summer, connecting Bangkok to locations across East Asia, including China, Japan and South Korea, a company official said.
The carrier would initially operate two 767 mid-sized planes before expanding its fleet to 10 aircraft within several years, it said.
"As demand for international flights is expected to jump in Asia, we want to secure our own aircraft so that we can offer services to both our current and new customers flexibly," the official said.
The travel giant offered few other details about its new airline.
About 18 million people used H.I.S. last year and it had 446 billion yen (5.4 billion) in turnover, according to the company's financial results.
Asia Pacific Airlines will be owned 49 percent by H.I.S., with 39 percent held by its Thai unit H.I.S. Tours Co. and the remaining 12 percent held by Thai hotel owner Panlert Baiyoke, according to a statement.