Peach eyeing Chinese cities, gears up for HK launch

14 Jun 2012

Peach Aviation, All Nippon Airways' first low-cost subsidiary, is looking to start flights to Chinese destinations by the end of this year as it gears up to launch flights to Hong Kong on July 2.

As reported earlier (see story here), the carrier will fly daily to Hong Kong from its hub in Osaka Kansai.

At a press conference about the new route, chief executive of Peach, Shinichi Inoue, said the carrier is looking to launch more international destinations within a four-hour radius, particularly within China. “Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou are all cities we are looking at because they lie within four hours of Kansai. However, due to regulations and congestion at airports in China, we cannot confirm anything yet.” 

Its network expansion will be aided by the delivery of more aircraft. At present, Peach has taken delivery of four A320s out of a total of 10, with the rest scheduled to arrive by the second quarter of 2013.

Inoue also stated that since the inception of this low-cost carrier, the business plan always consisted of setting up a base outside of Japan, however, they have yet to decide where that would be and when.

Things are looking positive for the nascent carrier that only launched services in March this year: in that month alone the carrier’s load factor hit 83 per cent, carrying 67,000 passengers in total. Since then load factors have remained high, said Inoue. 

Its greatest challenge at the moment will be to differentiate itself from new rivals – Air Asia Japan (see story here) and Jetstar Japan (see story here) – that will be coming on board in the next two months. Peach’s strength over the two other carriers, explained Inoue, is its base in Kansai, which is an hour closer to the rest of Asia than Tokyo, where both Air Asia Japan and Jetstar Japan will set up shop.

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Alisha Haridasani

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