Thursday, May 8, 2014

Peach outlines Summer 2014 mass cancellations.

On April 30th, Peach Aviation (MM/APJ), which one week earlier announced up to 2,088 possible flight cancellations for Summer 2014 (Peach to cancel up to 2,088 flights this summer.) due to cockpit crew shortage, outlined details of the reduced operation from May 19th through October 25th.
A Peach Airbus A320 takes off. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

A total of 1,624 flights have been announced as cancellation possibilities during the period, in addition to the 448 flights already canceled between May 1st and 18th, which brings the total to 2,072. The Osaka/Kansai (KIX/RJBB)-based LCC is offering full refunds and re-bookings to their other flights.

Breakdown of Cancellations from May 1st through October 25th:
Okinawa/Naha (OKA/ROAH) – Ishigaki (ISG/ROIG): 198 flights
Kansai – Fukuoka (FUK/RJFF): 496 flights
Kansai – Hong Kong (HKG/VHHH): 46 flights
Kansai – Kagoshima (KOJ/RJFK): 304 flights
Kansai – Matsuyama (MYJ/RJOM): 242 flights
Kansai – Naha: 150 flights
Kansai – Sapporo/New Chitose (CTS/RJCC): 112 flights
Kansai – Sendai (SDJ/RJSS): 466 flights
Kansai – Seoul/Incheon (ICN/RKSI): 42 flights *Only in May and June.
Kansai – Tokyo/Narita (NRT/RJAA): 16 flights

Noteworthy routes include Kansai – Fukuoka, which saw the largest number of possible cancellations accounting for 36.9% of planned flights during this period, while the Naha – Ishigaki route saw the highest rate at a whopping 60.4%. The latter has become a low-fare battleground with Skymark Airlines (BC/SKY) as well as ANA Group and JAL-affiliate Japan Transocean Air (NU/JTA), which also lowered prices, pulling down yields. Meanwhile, routes to Taiwan, both to Taipei/Taoyuan (TPE/RCTP) and Kaohsiung (KHH/RCKH), and to Busan/Gimhae (PUS/RKPK) in South Korea, remain unaffected, reflecting their popularity. Incheon won't see any cancellations for the peak season from July as well.
Peach currently employs 52 Captains and 56 First Officers (Copilots), however, eight Captains are absent from work due to health-related issues, and the company's target to recruit 10 additional Captains from outside did not go as planned. Rumors of delays in in-house training of First Officers to become Captains, and flight attendants and maintenance crew shortages have been denied.

Peach has so far been the most successful of the Japanese LCCs, but how much affect these mass cancellations and the April 28th incident at Okinawa (Peach Airbus A320 narrowly avoids crash at Okinawa.) will have on the fledgling carrier is unsure, though it will most definitely be a negative one.

Source: Peach Aviation, April 24th. (PDF; in Japanese)
Source: Peach Aviation, April 30th. (PDF; in Japanese)
Source: Aviation Wire, April 30th. (in Japanese)

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