Media Room

July 1, 2014
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten to Acquire Minority Stake
in AirAsia Japan Co., Ltd.

Tokyo, July 1, 2014­­­­ - Rakuten, Inc. (4755:TOKYO) today announced that it has agreed to acquire an 18% stake in AirAsia Japan Co., Ltd. (AirAsia Japan), the new low cost carrier (LCC) set to be launched in Japan by AirAsia (MYX:5099), Asia’s biggest LCC. AirAsia Japan plans to raise a total capital amount of 7B JPY.

In recent years, LCCs have become one of the great success stories in the travel industry. LCCs hold a 52% share of the market in Southeast Asia and over 30% in North America and Europe, in particular, where LCCs have been credited with helping to drive the overall growth of demand in air transportation services. In Japan, the LCC market has grown steadily since March 2012 when LCCs began flying domestic routes, and it is expected to expand even further [1].

Among LCCs, AirAsia has been at the forefront of the sector, having been named by Skytrax [2] as the World’s Best Low Cost Airline for 5 years running, beginning in 2009. The airline operates 208 routes in 18 countries throughout Asia and Australia. The total number of passengers AirAsia has carried since it began operations has reached approximately 220 million.

Rakuten is the parent company of Rakuten Travel, one of the most popular travel services in Japan, with 29,250 member hotels [3]. The business operates 17 offices in Japan and 20 additional offices across 12 markets overseas. Through this investment, Rakuten aims to accelerate the development of its travel services, particularly in the rapidly growing Southeast Asia region, and to play its part in stimulating the travel industry as a whole.

[1]�E�EMinistry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism: Research into the Analysis of the Effects of LCC Entry into the Market             (
[2]�E�Skytrax is a United Kingdom-based consultancy that runs an airline and airport review and ranking site
[3]�E�As of June 26, 2014