Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring Airlines Japan starts test flights to Saga.

In preparation for service launch in late May, Spring Airlines Japan (IJ/SJO) began operating test flights from Tokyo/Narita (NRT/RJAA) to Saga (HSG/RJFS) on March 17th as it would in normal operations. Staff in the air and on the ground checked routine procedures from departure to arrival. 
Boeing 737-86N(WL) JA02GR is leased from GECAS. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

Training flights to Hiroshima (HIJ/RJOA) and Takamatsu (TAK/RJOT) are already being flown, and Saga would be the last of the three cities the new LCC initially plans to serve twice daily, respectively, from the time of commencing operations, to receive these familiarization flights. Chinese LCC Spring Airlines (9C/CQH), which owns 33% of their shares, already serves Saga and Takamatsu from Shanghai/Pudong (PVG/ZSPD), and the Japanese affiliate hopes to leverage brand recognition.

Spring Airlines Japan's Boeing 737-800s seat 189 in a six-abreast (3-3) configuration, of which 18 (first three rows) in the front would be sold as premium seats with more legroom. The airline's fleet currently stands at two with a third coming on-line by May, and will be expanded to 20 by the end of 2017.

Source: Saga Prefecture, March 14th. (in Japanese)
Source: Saga Shimbun, March 17th. (in Japanese)

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