Japan-based mid-size carrier Air Do and Solaseed Air have announced that they will establish a new joint company in October 2022. Regional carriers Air Do, which is based in Hokkaido, and Solaseed Air, based in Miyazaki, signed a ‘basic agreement’. The recent developments come at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has battered the aviation industry. Last year, Air Do had a net loss of ¥12.1 billion and Solaseed Air had a net loss of ¥7.6 billion.
Despite the merger, both Air Do and Solaseed will continue to retain their distinct brands post-merger. However, according to the carriers, they will aim to further reduce costs by standardising operations and streamline their organisation structure.
In a joint statement, the carriers said, “In order to quickly recover the damaged financial base of both companies, survive the new business environment, provide more added value to customers, and achieve sustainable growth…the … cooperative relationships between the two companies will be further deepened.”
Last year, it was reported that the Japanese government is mulling merging both All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines to help the carrier survive the Covid-19 crisis. The idea to merge both carriers has come from Heizo Takenaka, a former minister and advisor to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
Both ANA and Japan Airlines are major international carriers and are among the biggest carriers in Asia, carrying nearly 100 million passengers between them. The carriers are also rivals with similar fleets and competing on similar routes.