Friday, January 9, 2015

Fuji Dream plans Izumo, Kitakyushu, and Chubu Centrair.

Fuji Dream Airlines [JH/FDA] is planning to add Izumo [IZO/RJOC] and Kitakyushu [KKJ/RJFR] from its hub at Nagoya/Komaki [NKM/RJNA] from the Summer 2015 timetable starting on March 29th. The latter link would be served twice daily while frequency for the former remains undecided.

Embraer ERJ170-200STD (E175) JA07FJ Yellow arrives at Komaki. (Photo: Ryosuke Yano)

It will coincide with the March delivery of their ninth aircraft, which would be their sixth Embraer ERJ170-200 (E175). Both routes were previously served by Japan Airlines' [JL/JAL] subsidiary J-Air [XM/JLJ] until 2005 and 2007, respectively. For the latter, the Greater Nagoya region and Kitakyushu are significant automobile industry hubs, notably with many of Toyota's factories and related companies located in the two cities, and local businesses had been pushing for the resumption.

FDA continues to expand at Komaki, with a network that covers Aomori [AOJ/RJSA], Fukuoka [FUK/RJFF], Hanamaki [HNA/RJSI], Kochi [KCZ/RJOK], Kumamoto [KMJ/RJFT], Niigata [KIJ/RJSN], and Yamagata [GAJ/RJSC], essentially filling the void left by J-Air. However, FDA revealed that they are considering launching a hub at Nagoya/Chubu Centrair [NGO/RJGG] as well, as their 10th aircraft, which is planned for delivery in March 2016, currently cannot be allocated to Komaki due to limited parking space, and further expansion at Komaki would come against the Aichi Government and local business community's desire to consolidate all flights at Chubu Centrair. A gentleman's agreement also prohibits flights over 1,000 kilometers from Komaki.

FDA has largely been able to gain popularity due to it being the sole carrier at Nagoya's older but more convenient and preferred airport near downtown. Although the airline says any Chubu Centrair flight would also carry the JAL code, All Nippon Airways [NH/ANA] is the dominant carrier there, and with LCCs Jetstar Japan [GK/JJP] expanding (Jetstar Japan starts three routes from Kumamoto.) and AirAsia Japan (Mk II) setting up a hub (AirAsia Japan is officially reborn; first flight June 2015.), the niche regional carrier could drag itself into a new battleground.

Source: San-in Chuo Shimpo, December 20th. (in Japanese)
Source: The Mid-Japan Economist, January 1st. (in Japanese)
Source: Mainichi Shimbun, January 6th. (in Japanese)

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