Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Peach Aviation grows Okinawa; Narita and more Taipei.

On December 8th, Peach Aviation [MM/APJ] announced that it will launch Okinawa/Naha [OKA/ROAH] – Tokyo/Narita [NRT/RJAA] on February 20th, 2016. The new link will initially be operated three times per week, increasing to daily from the Summer 2016 timetable effective March 27th, using 180-seat Airbus A320-200s. The growing LCC will also expand Naha – Taipei/Taoyuan [TPE/RCTP] service from daily to 10 weekly from February 19th, and to twice daily from the Summer 2016 schedule.

Airbus A320-214 JA809P along with two others prepare for their next assignment at Kansai Airport's Terminal 2. Peach currently flies 17 A320s with the 18th due in March 2016. (Photo: Ryosuke Yano)

One-way fares for Naha – Narita start from 5,890 JPY for a Happy Peach ticket, which includes a 10-kilogram carry-on baggage allowance, and for Naha – Taipei/Taoyuan from 4,780 JPY. Tickets went on sale today. Both new round-trips are timed in the evening.

Flight Schedule:
Naha – Narita NEW three times weekly with A320-200. (From Feb/20.)
MM508 OKA 1600 1825 NRT 320 Mo/Th/Sa *Daily from Mar/27.
MM509 NRT 1900 2215 OKA 320 Mo/Th/Sa *Daily from Mar/27.

Naha – Taipei/Taoyuan increase from daily to 10 weekly with A320-200. (From Feb/19.)
MM921 OKA 0905 0940 TPE 320 Daily
MM927 OKA 1640 1715 TPE 320 We/Fr/Su *NEW. Daily from Mar/27.
MM922 TPE 1015 1245 OKA 320 Daily
MM928 TPE 1750 2020 OKA 320 We/Fr/Su *NEW. Daily from Mar/27.

Peach's second hub at Naha (Peach launches Naha hub; but Naha – Ishigaki axed.) currently boasts Fukuoka [FUK/RJFF], Hong Kong [HKG/VHHH], Osaka/Kansai [KIX/RJBB], Seoul/Incheon [ICN/RKSI] (Peach Aviation starts Okinawa – Seoul.), and Taipei/Taoyuan, while Narita sees Fukuoka, Kansai, and Sapporo/New Chitose [CTS/RJCC] (Peach starts Narita to Fukuoka and Sapporo.). The Kansai-based LCC will make Tokyo's main international gateway its third hub (Peach confirms Narita hub; adds Fukuoka and Sapporo.), though Sendai [SDJ/RJSS] could come before depending on the availability of favorable slots at Narita (Peach plans Sendai hub by Summer 2017.).

Narita – Naha is also served by All Nippon Airways [NH/ANA], mostly catering to international – domestic connections, along with Jetstar Japan [GK/JJP] and Peach's sister Vanilla Air [JW/VNL], making it the second route after Narita – New Chitose to see three LCCs competing. That said, ANA Holdings' two sister LCCs will initially avoid direct competition, as Vanilla's flight is in the morning while Peach's is in the evening, unlike with Narita – New Chitose. ANA has always considered consolidating the two as their network overlap becomes inevitable, however, while Vanilla is wholly-owned by ANA, it only holds a minority (though still significant) 39% stake in Peach and its CEO Shinichi Inoue has repeatedly shown preference to grow organically, making any merger out of question at least in the near term.

Source: Peach Aviation, 2015 December 8th. (in Japanese)
Source: Aviation Wire, 2015 December 8th. (in Japanese) 

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