Japan’s Air Do and Solaseed Air to merge by 2022

Japan has many low cost carriers, and Solaseed Air and Air Do are just two of them. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the Japanese Aviation Industry hard, aircraft have been retired and staff have been laid off. The two airlines will set up a joint holding company by Autumn of 2022. Air Do logged a loss of $109’336’200 during the COVID pandemic while Solaseed Air lost $69’246’260. Both the airlines have a relatively small fleet size, Air Do only has 14 aircraft, while Solaseed Air has also 14 aircraft all of them being Boeing 737-800s. Both the airlines have very lively and colourful liveries. As the two airlines have no overlapping routes in priority areas, which means that the merger will connect more parts of the country.

A Solaseed Air 737-800 taking off
(Credit: Skytrax)

About Air Do

Air Do was founded in November of the year 1997 by Teruo Hamada, originally named as Hokkaido International Airlines. The airline operates an all-Boeing fleet, and flies to eleven destinations, its main hubs being Sapporo New Chitose Airport and Tokyo Haneda Airport. Their fleet holds 14 aircraft, 8 Boeing 737-800s, 2 Boeing 767-300 and 4 Boeing 767-300ERs. they have a total work force of around 1025 employees as of April 2020. Air Do only flies in Japan, operating no international routes.

About Solaseed Air

Solaseed Air was founded in July 1997, in the same year as Air Do. It has only 14 Boeing 737-800s in its fleet. The airline’s parent company is ANA (All Nippon Airlines) and the Development Bank of Japan. Headquartered in Miyazaki, Japan it flies to eleven destinations in Japan and no international destinations. Solaseed Air was founded as Skynet Asia Airways but would change their name later on. This airline holds only 3% of Japan’s Domestic routes.

Why a merge?

These two airlines have been struggling financially since the pandemic, its losses have been shocking. Solaseed Air president Kosuke Takahashi stated, ‘We cannot survive unless we strengthen cooperation through a holding company’. The merger will be beneficial in many ways. It will offer more jobs for Japan’s future pilots and airline workers. More air routes will be available as well. When the merger takes place, the two airline names will be retained and and the two companies will go under the wing of the joint holding company. Other details have not been release yet. The merger will bring together their skills and human resources and will try to improve business efficiency.

Air Do and Solaseed Air presidents at the Sapporo conference meeting
(Credit: Japantimes)


  • ft.com
  • aviationnewsonline.com
  • flightglobal.com (Header photo)

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