Sunday, May 4, 2014

Skymark starts Airbus A330 training flights.

Skymark Airlines (BC/SKY) has commenced crew training and familiarization flights with their brand-new Airbus A330-300s which were delivered in March (Skymark Airlines' first two Airbus A330s delivered.).
Airbus A330-343E JA330B parked inside a hangar at Haneda. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

A330-343E JA330B started flying on April 25th, followed by sistership JA330A on April 27th. The training flights are currently being carried out between Tokyo/Haneda (HND/RJTT), Fukuoka (FUK/RJFF), Nagoya/Chubu Centrair (NGO/RJGG), and Osaka/Kansai (KIX/RJBB).

Seating 271 in an all-premium (akin to premium economy) seven-abreast (2-3-2) 'Green Seat' configuration, Skymark's A330s are planned to enter service on the highly-competitive Haneda Fukuoka route on May 31st (Skymark delays Airbus A330 introduction to May 31st.). Seat pitch has been set at 96.5 centimeters (38 inches), similar to Japan Airlines' (JL/JAL) domestic 'Class J' product. A fully-equipped galley also leaves the option to deploy the aircraft on international routes in the future. The controversial mini-skirt uniforms (Miniskirt turbulence at Skymark Airlines?) are still on plan as well.

Initial Airbus A330 service:
Haneda – Fukuoka from 11 to 10 daily; 5 to be operated by new 333. *From May/31.
BC003 HND 0740 – 0935 FUK 333 Daily
BC007 HND 0920 – 1110 FUK 73H/738 Daily
BC009 HND 1115 – 1305 FUK 333 Daily *73H/738 until Jun/10.
BC013 HND 1235 – 1430 FUK 333 Daily
BC015 HND 1345 – 1540 FUK 73H/738 Daily
BC017 HND 1505 – 1700 FUK 73H/738 Daily
BC019 HND 1605 – 1800 FUK 333 Daily *73H/738 until Jun/10.
BC021 HND 1725 – 1915 FUK 333 Daily
BC025 HND 1835 – 2030 FUK 73H/738 Daily
BC027 HND 2000 – 2155 FUK 73H/738 Daily
BC004 FUK 0900 – 1035 HND 73H/738 Daily
BC008 FUK 1015 – 1150 HND 333 Daily
BC010 FUK 1150 – 1325 HND 73H/738 Daily
BC012 FUK 1345 – 1520 HND 333 Daily *73H/738 until Jun/10.
BC016 FUK 1510 – 1645 HND 333 Daily
BC018 FUK 1620 – 1755 HND 73H/738 Daily
BC020 FUK 1740 – 1915 HND 73H/738 Daily
BC022 FUK 1845 – 2020 HND 333 Daily *73H/738 until Jun/10.
BC024 FUK 1955 – 2130 HND 333 Daily
BC026 FUK 2110 – 2245 HND 73H/738 Daily

*Updated from 'Skymark to introduce the Airbus A330 on April 18th.'

Skymark's President and CEO Shinichi Nishikubo estimates breakeven point for their A330s would be a load factor of around 72-73%, and he is targeting an average 80%. Asked why the aircraft was chosen, "Acquisition costs were 40% lower than a Boeing 787 or Airbus A350 XWB. We can make the Green Seats work because it's an A330," he answers. A total of 10 examples will be acquired on leases by September 2015. After Fukuoka, the widebody Airbus will be introduced on the Haneda Okinawa/Naha (OKA/ROAH) route in September, followed by Haneda Sapporo/New Chitose (CTS/RJCC) in late January 2015.

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