Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Peach starts Narita to Fukuoka and Sapporo.

On March 29th, Peach Aviation [MM/APJ] strengthened its network from Tokyo/Narita [NRT/RJAA], inaugurating Fukuoka [FUK/RJFF] and Sapporo/New Chitose [CTS/RJCC] with two round-trips and one, respectively, using 180-seat Airbus A320s. Kanto (Greater Tokyo) region's primary international gateway has been designated its third hub (Peach confirms Narita hub; adds Fukuoka and Sapporo.) after Osaka/Kansai [KIX/RJBB] and Okinawa/Naha [OKA/ROAH] (Peach launches Naha hub; but Naha – Ishigaki axed.). 

An Airbus A320 of Peach arrives at Narita. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

The first flight to Fukuoka as MM523 departed Narita at 0908 JST, eight minutes behind schedule, carrying 166 passengers, and arrived at the Kyushu airport at 1125, 20 minutes later than the published time. A320-214 JA810P was assigned. Meanwhile, the first inbound flight from Sapporo as MM582 departed New Chitose at 0941, six minutes late, with a load of 167 passengers, and arrived at Narita at 1112, two minutes behind schedule. A320-214 JA814P operated the flight. 

Flight Schedule:
Narita – Fukuoka NEW 2 daily with A320-200. (Mar/29 - Oct/24)
MM523 NRT 0900 – 1105 FUK 320 Daily
MM525 NRT 1330 – 1535 FUK 320 Daily
MM524 FUK 1220 – 1410 NRT 320 Daily
MM526 FUK 1610 – 1800 NRT 320 Daily

Narita – New Chitose NEW 1 daily with A320-200. (Mar/29 - Oct/24)
MM585 NRT 1455 – 1640 CTS 320 Daily
MM582 CTS 0935 – 1110 NRT 320 Daily

"Peach changes people's lifestyles. Peach brings positive changes to the cities we fly to. You can expect a lot from us," enthused CEO Shinichi Inoue. Fukuoka and Sapporo became the second and third cities served from Narita by the growing LCC, after it launched a link from its base at Kansai on October 27th, 2013. Peach now flies Kansai – Narita three times daily. One-way fares from Narita to Fukuoka will range from 4,790 JPY to 23,590 JPY, while the flight to New Chitose will start from 3,990 JPY and go up to 23,190 JPY.

Peach is engaging itself in a new round of battle against Narita-headquartered rival Jetstar Japan [GK/JJP], which opened their second hub at Kansai, Peach's home base, in June 2014 (Jetstar Japan launches Kansai hub.). Sister LCC Vanilla Air [JW/VNL], a wholly-owned subsidiary of ANA Holdings, which also controls 38.67% of Peach, is also based at Narita. The Chiba airport thus becomes the first airport to become a hub for all four Japanese LCCs, though Peach has opted against moving into Narita's new LCC Terminal, dubbed Terminal 3, which is slated to open on April 8th.

The Narita – New Chitose route became the first to see three LCCs competing along with majors All Nippon Airways [NH/ANA] and Japan Airlines [JL/JAL], though the majors mostly cater to passengers connecting with international flights. For Summer 2015, Vanilla Air will fly up to eight round-trips and Jetstar Japan up to seven, with ANA and JAL with two and one, respectively. Narita – Fukuoka is served by Jetstar Japan up to seven times daily, ANA double-daily, and JAL with a single round-trip. Vanilla Air does not fly to the Kyushu airport, though predecessor AirAsia Japan (Mk I) [JW/WAJ] used to (CoachFlyer JW8541: NRT - FUK on AirAsia Japan's Airbus A320.).

Peach currently flies 14 aircraft on 12 domestic and seven international routes covering 15 destinations. It continues to develop its Naha hub adding Hong Kong [HKG/VHHH] on February 21st (Peach commences Okinawa – Hong Kong.), to be followed by Seoul/Incheon [ICN/RKSI] on September 4th (Peach announces Okinawa – Seoul.). Several more Asian destinations are in the cards, including Bangkok (Peach mulls Okinawa – Bangkok.) and Macau (Peach reveals Macau in the works.). Meanwhile, they have also announced intentions to make Sendai [SDJ/RJSS] its fourth hub by 2017 (Peach plans Sendai hub by Summer 2017.).

Source: Aviation Wire, March 29th. (in Japanese)

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