Japan Airlines scraps US$48 promo fares after demand crashes website

Japan Airlines Co. ended a campaign to sell steeply discounted tickets for domestic flights after demand overwhelmed the carrier’s website.

“In light of the fact that there is no prospect of restoration at this time” and the impact on other customers, Japan Airlines said it would cancel the promotional sale of flights and April and May, as well as those for June that were set to begin next week, the company said in a statement late Thursday in Tokyo.

The abandoned campaign is a marketing setback for Japan Airlines as demand for travel within the island nation picks up, with the government planning to downgrade Covid to the same category as seasonal influenza in May. Hokkaido-based carrier Airdo Co. and ANA Holdings Inc. have also unveiled plans to sell discounted flights over the next few months.

It wasn’t clear whether Japan Airlines would consider another promotional campaign. The website was hit around midnight on Thursday, when the airline began its “JAL Smiles” campaign offering domestic one-way tickets at a flat rate of ¥6,600 (US$48) for adults and ¥4,950 yen for children, during April through June.  – BLOOMBERG