Short name for 北海道国際航空, Hokkaidô Kokusai Kôkû
or Hokkaido International Airlines
, it is one of the only low-cost carrier
s in Japan
. Founded in November 1996 with 14 million yen
in venture capital
, primarily from Hokkaido Electric
, and Tokyo Marine Insurance
, they finally accumulated enough investors to begin service in 1998.
Air Do flies one route, from Tokyo International Airport at Haneda to New Chitose Airport outside Sapporo, which happens to be the busiest air corridor in the country. They started with one Boeing 767 aircraft, and bought a second one in 2000 to up their frequency to six round trips each day.
They charge a flat one-way fare of 23,000 yen for adults and 11,000 yen for children: if you reserve 21 days in advance, the fare comes down to 9,000 yen. They also have a rather unique frequent flyer program, where you get one free ticket for each eight you buy.
Air Do filed for bankruptcy in June 2002 and was partially bought out by All Nippon Airways. It continues to operate under new cooperative arrangements with ANA.