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Peach is a Japanese start-up low-cost carrier and commenced operations in Mar-2012. The airline, founded in Feb-2011, is a joint venture between All Nippon Airways, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan and First Eastern Investment Group. Its fleet will increase to 10 A320s by the end of 2012.
Fleet: 3 x A320, 7 more by end 2012
CEO: Shinichi Inoue
- Kansai International Airport (Hub)
- Fukuoka Airport
- New Chitose Airport
- Nagasaki Airport
- Kagoshima Airport
- Kitakyushu Airport
- Seoul Incheon International Airport
- Hong Kong International Airport (01-Jun-2012)
- Taipei Taoyuan International Airport (30-Sep-2012)
Location of Peach main hub (Osaka Kansai International Airport)
LCCs will continue to evolve into hybrids of the original core model. CAPA and OAG consider Peach fits the LCC profile and it is included in our reporting on this basis. Please note: when reporting for an airline is changed from or to LCC the historical data is not affected and it can lead to a distortion in the current reported data. Contact us if you have any queries.
211 total articles
20 total articles
South Korea-Japan airline market sees structural change from LCCs, political tension & weakening yen
The once tidy and highly profitable Japan-Korean market is undergoing fundamental change – accompanied by double-digit yield declines.
It is difficult to identify precisely which ingredients are provoking the greatest change in the South Korea-Japan airline market. First, in mid/late 2012 the market was transformed as new airlines entered and others added capacity; these were mainly LCCs with unprecedented low fares. Then late 2012 saw Japanese outbound tourist numbers fall sharply due to political tensions between South Korea and Japan over largely uninhabited but disputed islands.
In 2013 the Japanese outbound market remains soft as the yen weakens. While the international political situation will eventually cool down, the Korean response has been to target individual tourists rather than tour groups, a change that was long overdue in any event.
But the difference now is that those individuals have LCCs to provide for their needs. These carriers are here to stay, and they will grow – for the usual reasons, but also due to the weakening yen. While the economic and political factors favour the Korean side, it is the Japanese side that has a larger share of the market.
Japan’s Peach Aviation is looking at several potential markets in Southeast Asia as part of a new base in the southern Japanese island of Okinawa. The low-cost carrier is bullish on the Okinawa market, which it already serves from its Osaka Kansai base.
Peach is planning domestic expansion at Naha on Okinawa, starting with service to Shin Ishigaki in Sep-2013. It aims to start international operations at Naha as soon as the airport’s low-cost terminal, which opened specifically for Peach in Oct-2012, is upgraded to handle international flights.
Peach expects the Okinawa base will attract a high volume of transit passengers heading from its various destinations in Japan to Southeast Asia. But at least for now Peach plans to rely on self-connections rather than offer a connecting product. Peach already sees a large number of self-connections coming from its international destinations, particularly Hong Kong.
AirAsia Japan and Jetstar Japan are about six months old now and already there is significant change at the fledging carriers: AirAsia Japan has switched CEOs after sagging performance while Jetstar Japan will reduce its second base at Osaka Kansai, the home of Peach Aviation, Japan's first new LCC, which launched in Mar-2012 - suggesting Peach has efficiently maintained its presence in Japan's second-largest metropolitan area.
Peach launched with services to a number of secondary cities whereas AirAsia and Jetstar entered only trunk routes. But now Jetstar will launch some secondary city routes of its own, suggesting an evolving route network strategy as well as responding to the market with agility, which airlines – especially in Japan – do not typically have strength in.
Finally, Jetstar looks as if it will steal AirAsia's thunder by opening a base in Nagoya, Japan's third-largest metropolitan area. AirAsia since nearly its launch has talked of a Nagoya base, making it likely Asia's two leading LCC groups will continue to battle head on in Japan.
For years it was said that Japan, despite high air fares and inefficient incumbent airlines, would never be a breeding ground for low-cost carriers. Excuses were many – airport taxes were too high, there were no low-cost terminals – but the last resort claim for why LCCs would not work in Japan was that the Japanese people, used to pampering in their service-oriented society, would never accept the core principles of LCCs.
With breathtaking speed the Japanese government and companies broke down barriers to support LCCs, three of which launched in 2012. They could do everything but change public attitude about LCCs. Yet it turned out the Japanese public did not need the open-heart surgery many thought would be required. Japan's air market has been devolving on service, closing the gap between full-service incumbents and LCC start-ups. The LCCs are also not the bare-bones, service-adverse airlines many stereotyped.
This poses a challenge to how full-service carriers can maintain a yield premium, which received a bleak reminder with Skymark pulling off routes in response to LCCs entering. The Japanese experience also offers a lesson to other markets, like South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, where some claim the population will not ever accept the concept of a LCC.
It certainly took North Asia some years to have momentum for low-cost airlines that was anything like booming Southeast Asia. 2012 delivered on that with three new LCCs launching in Japan and plans underfoot in Hong Kong for Jetstar Hong Kong as well as a possible transformation of Hong Kong Express into a LCC. While elsewhere the region may not have gone as far as producing LCCs, there is active discussion of having LCCs and the reforms needed to welcome and support them.
Talk is strongest in Taiwan, which has seen considerable growth from LCCs in North and Southeast Asia. South Korea is considering how and when its LCCs can become better competitors, shedding some of the comforts they have been unwilling to charge passengers. Japan will see growth, from existing LCCs and new ones, a challenge for incumbents. Reforms in China may enable LCCs in the future to launch, while all LCCs are watching how to be hybrid and chase yields. These are eight North Asian LCC topics to watch for in 2013.
References to "the Southwest model" or "the Ryanair model" can be a common refrain in the low-cost carrier industry, but no two LCCs are identical. Indeed, there are a number of models that have seen success. So it comes as no surprise that Japan's nascent LCC industry is diverging, with this year's three new entrants – AirAsia Japan, Jetstar Japan and Peach – showing their future more clearly now that their operations are bedding down.
The divergence is not the result of differentiation in an over-competitive market; there is still plenty of untapped demand in Japan. Rather the nuances at the three new LCCs are reflective of different shareholders and market positions. There are different outlooks on domestic-international balances but most commonly the distinctions go to the heart of industry discourse on hybridising, adding services to tap new markets and increase yields. Jetstar Japan is set to be the most hybrid, followed by AirAsia and then Peach.
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