Monday, February 10, 2014

Naha's LCC Terminal goes international.

Naha Airport's (OKA/ROAH) LCC Terminal opened to international flights today on February 10th, after CIQ (customs, immigration, quarantine) facilities were unveiled three days ago. Peach Aviation's (MM/APJ) daily Naha - Taipei/Taoyuan (TPE/RCTP) flight moved over from the airport's International Terminal. The first flight using the new facility, MM923, departed at 1257 local time with 171 passengers bound for Taoyuan.
Airbus A320-214 JA806P taxies at Okinawa's Naha Airport. (Photo: Ryosuke Yano)

In October 2012, Naha became the first Japanese airport to accommodate a terminal dedicated for LCCs, when All Nippon Airways (NH/ANA) converted a leased cargo hangar into a simple terminal. It is currently being used by Peach, minority-owned by ANA, and Vanilla Air (JW/VNL), 100%-owned by ANA. However, without CIQ until now, for its Taiwan service Peach had to bus its passengers to the LCC Terminal from the International Terminal after they had passed immigrations. 

Growing Peach has announced that its Naha hub, its second after Osaka/Kansai (KIX/RJBB), will be operational on July 19th, coinciding with the delivery of their 13th Airbus A320 and the basing of one aircraft there (Peach announces Naha - Fukuoka.). Strategically located, they intend to use the Naha hub to funnel passengers between the main islands of Japan and southeast Asia. "Our A320s cannot reach southeast Asia from Kansai, but the Naha hub would enable us to meet the growing demand to and from that region", Peach CEO Shinichi Inoue enthused. He added that Thailand and Vietnam are markets he would like to tap into "as early as possible".

Meanwhile, Naha will also open its all-new International Terminal on February 17th.

Source: Aviation Wire, February 10th. (in Japanese)

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