Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Peach announces Okinawa – Hong Kong.

On September 25th, Peach Aviation [MM/APJ] announced their intention to start four-times-weekly Okinawa/Naha [OKA/ROAH] – Hong Kong [HKG/VHHH] service on February 21st, 2015. It will be operated on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays using 180-seat Airbus A320s.

Airbus A320-214 JA801P lines up for takeoff from Runway 19R at New Chitose Airport near Sapporo on a clear October afternoon. (Photo: Ryosuke Yano)

This becomes the seventh international route for the Osaka/Kansai [KIX/RJBB]-based LCC, which only opened its second hub at Naha on July 19th (Peach launches Naha hub; but Naha – Ishigaki axed.). It will be the fourth direct link from Naha after Fukuoka [FUK/RJFF], Kansai, and Taipei/Taoyuan [TPE/RCTP]. The last time a Japanese carrier flew the route was 12 years ago. Peach already operates double-daily flights to Hong Kong from Kansai.

Flight Schedule (effective February 21st through March 28th, 2015):
Naha – Hong Kong NEW 4 weekly with A320-200.
MM965 OKA 1645 – 1830 HKG 320 Mo
MM965 OKA 1530 – 1715 HKG 320 We
MM965 OKA 1525 – 1710 HKG 320 Sa
MM965 OKA 1305 – 1450 HKG 320 Su
MM964 HKG 1235 – 1550 OKA 320 Mo/We/Sa/Su
Prices will range from 7,180 JPY to 33,580 JPY for a one-way unbundled Happy Peach fare, while one-way Happy Peach Plus, which includes one baggage allowance, free seat selection, and no charge for flight change, will range from 9,980 JPY to 41,580 JPY. Tickets will go on sale tomorrow on November 26th.

The new route also becomes the first to be launched after Peach encountered pilot shortages which caused widely-publicized travel disruptions (Peach outlines Summer 2014 mass cancellations.) this past summer. Their 14th A320 was delivered earlier this month, and Peach will start expanding again cautiously, on top of what was already a conservative plan to add only three aircraft each year through 2016.

Reference: Nikkei Shimbun, November 24th. (in Japanese)
Reference: Aviation Wire, November 25th. (in Japanese) 

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