Sunday, March 29, 2015

Solaseed Air expands Okinawa with Ishigaki and Nagoya.

On March 29th, Skynet Asia Airways [6J/SNJ] (d.b.a. Solaseed Air) launched twice-daily Okinawa/Naha [OKA/ROAH] – Ishigaki [ISG/ROIG] and daily Naha – Nagoya/Chubu Centrair [NGO/RJGG] services using 174-seat Boeing 737-800s (Solaseed Air loads Okinawa to Ishigaki and Nagoya.). Both routes code-share with All Nippon Airways [NH/ANA], whose parent ANA Holdings controls 8.56% of Solaseed Air. It is virtually a transferring of routes, as ANA dropped an identical number of frequencies on the two routes on the same day.

Boeing 737-86N(WL) JA811X touches down at Ishigaki completing its inaugural flight. Solaseed Air's expansion coincides with the arrival of their 12th aircraft, which was only delivered on March 18th. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

The inaugural flight to Ishigaki, flight 6J045, operated by 737-86N(WL) JA811X, departed Naha at 1113 JST with a full load of 174 passengers including five children, and touched down at the gateway to the Yaeyama Islands at 1207. The first return leg 6J046 departed Ishigaki at 1255 carrying 165 passengers, including one child, and arrived back at Naha at 1344. Meanwhile, the first flight from Chubu Centrair as 6J069, operated by 737-86N(WL) JA806X, carried 173 passengers including one child.

Flight Schedule:
Naha – Ishigaki NEW 2 daily with 737-800. (Mar/29 - Oct/24)
6J045 OKA 1115 – 1215 ISG 73H Daily *Departs/arrives 10 minutes early Jul/1 - Sep/30.
6J049 OKA 1745 – 1845 ISG 73H Daily
6J046 ISG 1250 – 1345 OKA 73H Daily *Departs/arrives 10 minutes early Jul/1 - Sep/30.
6J050 ISG 1920 – 2015 OKA 73H Daily

Naha – Chubu Centrair NEW daily with 737-800. (Mar/29 - Oct/24)
6J070 OKA 1200 – 1410 NGO 73H Daily *Arrives 5 minutes late Jul/1 - Sep/30.
6J069 NGO 1445 – 1710 OKA 73H Daily *Departs 5 minutes late Jul/1 - Sep/30.

Naha – Ishigaki saw Peach Aviation [MM/APJ] axe the route in July last year (Peach launches Naha hub; but Naha – Ishigaki axed.), while Skymark Airlines [BC/SKY] also operated its last flight on March 28th as part of their bankruptcy reorganizing (Skymark to cut 15% of flights, ground all Airbus A330s.). ANA reduced its frequency to six, while Japan Airlines [JL/JAL] affiliates Japan Transocean Air [NU/JTA] and Ryukyu Air Commuter [RAC] together continue to operate nine daily round-trips. Solaseed Air cut its 28-day advance one-way fare to 4,800 JPY after local governments complained that its initial price was higher than Skymark.

Meanwhile, Naha – Chubu Centrair sees four daily round-trips operated by JTA, two by ANA, and a single frequency by Skymark. Jetstar Japan [GK/JJP] also entered the route with a single round-trip on the same day on March 29th (Jetstar Japan to start Nagoya – Okinawa.), becoming the first LCC to serve the market.

Although not designated a hub, Solaseed Air has a growing Naha operation, which boasts two daily flights to Kagoshima [KOJ/RJFK], three to Kobe [UKB/RJBE], and one to Miyazaki [KMI/RJFM], in addition to the newly-launched destinations. In other news, the Kyushu-based airline is planning its first international charters (Solaseed Air eyes international charters in FY2015.) this year, linking Kyushu and Okinawa with neighboring Asian destinations.

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

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