JAPAN’s first-ever pure low-cost carrier (LCC), Peach Aviation, is set to kick-off operations on March 1, inaugurating four daily flights from Osaka-Kansai Airport to Sapporo, and three daily flights from Osaka-Kansai to Fukuoka (TTG Asia e-Daily, August 25, 2011).
Peach Aviation CEO, Shinichi Inoue, promised that the airline would be “cute and nice”—reflected in the pink uniform its cabin crew will don. The carrier has also promised to inject a dose of Kansai humour during cabin announcements—an apparent reference to the Kansai people’s penchant for joking around.
The challenge for Peach in the run-up to the launch will be to educate the Japanese public about the need to pay for various ancillary services, and managing expectations from travellers accustomed to full-service carriers.
In admitting that the pure LCC model – selling point-to-point routes on one-class travel, using simple fares, no codesharing, operating a single aircraft type – was slow to enter the Japanese market, Inoue noted that he first became acquainted with the concept during a Terrapinn Low Cost Airlines conference back in 2008.
All Nippon Airways owns a 38.67 percent share in Peach, which is planning to launch additional routes to Nagasaki in March, Kagoshima in April, and Seoul (Incheon) in May.