Random Airline of The Week: Peach
There are literally hundreds of airlines operating scheduled passenger services around the world. Most people, if they are lucky, will only fly a handful in a lifetime. This series looks to show-off those lesser-known airlines, past and present.
The Japanese aviation scene recently underwent some significant changes with a number of low cost airlines beginning to operate in early 2012. Of the four biggest start ups Peach got the jump on its competitors and flew its first revenue flight on March 1 2012.
The airline is partly owned by All Nippon Airlines (ANA), a star alliance member, but in true LCC fashion is operated as a separate business and offers no code shares or points earning or redemption with its much larger parent. The airline started off as a domestic carrier and has recently ventured into international flights offering flights to Hong Kong, Seoul and Taipei. The airline has advised they are looking to extend their international flights to a number of cities in China as well as Busan in South Korea, Macau and Manila.
The airline currently serves 9 destinations in total from its base at Kasai airport in Osaka using 7 new Airbus A320 aircraft, it has a further4 planes on order. The aircraft are fitted out in an all economy format of 180 seats. Peach charges an additional fee if passengers wish to select either a ‘Stretch Seat’ (exit row) or a ‘Pleasure Seat’ (which it defines as any seat in rows 2-5 or a window seat anywhere on the aircraft).
The striking livery of the airline using pink and fuschia makes the aircraft easy to spot in the sky and on the tarmac and passengers are also taking notice with flights now routinely over 80% full, well up from 60% earlier in the year. This is in spite of competition from Skymark Airlines, Air Asia Japan and Jetstar Japan as well as the legacy carriers Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airlines.
Being a new airline reviews of the airline are limited, but with new planes and the customary Japanese commitment to hospitality and politeness one would expect that for short flights with Peach would not be bad experience. On time departures are running at over 90% which is average for the Japanese aviation industry. With Peach being a low cost carrier though it always pays to be prepared for anything that may go awry.