FREEPLUS Inc. to invest a stake in Stellar Japan Co., Ltd., a travel agency specialized in procuring international chartered flights, with a future target to make it into a subsidiary



CEO, Kentaro Suda
Main Contact:President’s Office Head, Masaya Kakiuchi


FREEPLUS Inc. to invest a stake in Stellar Japan Co., Ltd., a travel agency specialized in procuring international chartered flights, with a future target to make it into a subsidiary


FREEPLUS Inc. that specializes in Inbound Travel ( Main Office: Osaka, Kita-ku, CEO: Kentaro Sudan, hereinafter referred to as the Company ) has acquired a private offering of new shares and unsecured convertible bonds from Stellar Japan Co., Ltd. ( Main Office: Tokyo, Chuo-ku, CEO: Hiroki Onodera, hereinafter referred to as Stellar Japan ) to form a business alliance in terms of planning and procuring duties of international charted flights. The Company will send an executive to Stellar Japan to oversee its management and further strengthen the newly formed alliance with a future target to make Stellar Japan into a subsidiary.




1. Background and Purpose

The number of inbound tourist visiting Japan has been increasing every year, and in 2016 the number reached 24 million people (21% more than the previous year ) (※1). Furthermore, Japan’s government aims to receive 40 million inbound tourists in 2020 and 60 million inbound tourists in 2030. Based on the Japan National Tourism Organization’s recent announcement on 15th November 2017, the preliminary number of visitor arrivals in October 2017 has reached 2.4 million people ( 18% more than the same month last year ). Thus, the expansion of inbound travel industry can be expected.

Having entered the inbound travel business since October 2010, in about 7 years, FREEPLUS Inc. has received inbound tourists from 550 travel agencies in 31 different countries. Driven by relaxation of Japan travel visa and increase in international flights in Japan, the number of inbound tourists that the Company accepts has been increasing. On one hand, especially during cherry blossom (Sakura) season in April and autumn foliage season (Koyo) season in October, the Company had difficulty meeting seasonal increase in demand for overseas flight to Japan with schedule flights. As Stellar Japan started procuring chartered flights from 2016, the Company has already collaborated with Stellar Japan to meet more demand for flights by inbound tourists. As main customers of FREEPLUS are inbound tourists and those of Stellar Japan are outbound tourists, this business alliance will be a win-win situation for both companies.

With capability to procure more chartered flights, it will be easier for the Company to operate tours in rural areas of Japan in the future instead of operating tours in so-called Golden Route, the most popular route connecting Osaka, Kyoto, Mt. Fuji, and Tokyo. To operate less popular routes in rural areas of Japan, the Company usually had to provide land transportation from Narita Airport or Kansai Airport, which had made the current tour less attractive for foreign tourists due to increase in costs and time taken to reach less accessible destinations.

As the Company hasn’t entered airline business in handling international flights to Japan, its alliance with Stellar Japan will allow the Company to accept more inbound tourists and transport them to rural areas of Japan, not only urban tourist cities. Furthermore, the Company will pursue vertical integration strategy of inbound tourism business, make Japan more friendly to foreign tourists, and make Japan great again as a tourism-oriented nation.


2.Stellar Japan Co., Ltd. Overview
・Name         :Stellar Japan Co., Ltd.
・Established On     :March 9th, 2007
・Capital        :10,000,000JPY
・CEO        :Hiroki Onodera
・Address        :6F, The Second Uehara Building, 4-11-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
・Business Description    :International Charter Service, General Service Agency, Aircraft Operation Support Service (to name a few)
・Business Partners    :MLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism), Ministry of Defense, Atlas Air, Uzbekistan Airways, Thai Airways, Garuda Indonesia, MIAT Mongolian Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Delta Airlines, T’Way Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Fuji Dream Airlines


3.FREEPLUS Inc. Overview
・Name            :FREEPLUS Inc.
・Established On     :June 8th, 2007
・Capital        :115,009,440JPY( Including Capital Reserve)
・CEO        :Kentaro Sudan
・Address        :Grand Front Tower A 29F. 4-20 Ofuka-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka
・Business Description    :Inbound Travel


4.Further information regarding Inbound Specialized Hotel
FREEPLUS Inc. President’s Office