Japan's third-largest airline after All Nippon Airways
and Japan Airlines
. Airline code JD
. It was formed from the merger
of an entire litany
of smaller airlines: Nitto Airlines
, Fuji Airlines
, and Kita Nihon Airlines
merged into Japan Domestic Airlines
(JDA) in 1964, and JDA merged with Toa Airways
in 1971 to form Toa Domestic Airlines
. The company changed its name to JAS in 1988 and was purchased by JAL in 2002
, completely merging into JAL by April 2004.
JAS is primarily a domestic carrier, although it operates flights to Guangzhou, Xian, Hong Kong and Seoul, and codeshares with Northwest Airlines and KLM. It also runs several commuter/cargo subsidiaries: Japan Air Commuter, Hokkaido Air System, Toa Air Service, and Harlequin Air.
JAS's fleet is primarily made up of Boeing 777 aircraft (dubbed "Rainbow Sevens"), Airbus A300s, and McDonnell Douglas MD-80s. Instead of first class, business class, and economy class, they have "Super Seats," "Rainbow Seats," and "Regular Seats." Their widebodies have special powder rooms for women that are called "Floral Rooms."
The airline likes to name things after rainbows because, much like now-defunct Braniff International, it has no set color scheme on its newer planes. The only overlying rule is that every JAS aircraft has to have at least one splotch of every color known to man. Many of JAS's paint jobs were designed by Akira Kurosawa. Some of the older A300's have a more orthodox yellow, orange, and blue livery. In 1997, JAS ran a contest for students to design new liveries for its 777's: the winning entry, from middle school student Masamoto Watanabe, featured a multicolored ribbon that wrapped around the fuselage, giving the aircraft an asymmetrical appearance.
The airline's slogan is "Good Speed Always."