Peach Aviation, a Japanese airline, has undertaken the second customer acceptance flight of its inaugural Airbus A320neo in France. This plane is the first of ten Airbus A320neos headed to the Japanese low-cost carrier.
What does the new plane look like?
The new plane, tail number JA201P, looks similar to the existing fleet of Peach A320s with bright pink colors. The better engines and other improvements make it stand out as a neo (new engine option) aircraft. These new A320neo aircraft (which Peach has ordered eight in total) will seat 188 passengers in an all-economy configuration – eight more than the existing A320ceos.
— Aviation Toulouse (@Frenchpainter) September 16, 2020
Peach also has on order two Airbus A321LRs, although Airbus delayed the delivery of them until 2021 due to manufacturing holdups (not the airline). This may prove to be a blessing in disguise, as it is questionable if market conditions warrant a long-range variant right now. The airline planned to take its A321LRs by the end of this year, and the second one next year.
Peach planned for the new A321LR aircraft to fly medium-haul international routes to South East Asia. However, with border restrictions still hampering developing, the carrier has since planned to put them onto domestic trunk routes instead.
Who is Peach Aviation?
Peach Aviation was initially formed by ANA and an investment partner to break into the Japanese low-cost carrier market against Jetstar Japan and AirAsia Japan (and to rival the new ZIPAIR by Japan Airlines). So far, it has been very successful, and before the current year, it was boasting load factors of around 80%.
The airline is based at Kansai Airport in Osaka (a 24-hour airport) and attributes its popularity to easy check-in systems and customer loyalty programs.
In 2018, Peach Air merged with Vanilla Air (another low-cost carrier owned by ANA), and Vanilla contributed six Airbus A320s to the Peach fleet. ANA didn’t need two low-cost carriers (they previously invest in Vanilla with AirAsia who ended the partnership).
What is like to fly Peach?
Peach is your standard low-cost carrier, with payable upgrades for seat selection and extra baggage. Despite having a low seat pitch (of only 29 inches, which is very small), they also have reclining seats. However, Peach is slowly introducing a new slimmer seat pre-reclined by 15 degrees (only installed on nine aircraft so far) to increase passenger comfort.
If its all too much for you, the carrier also allows you to buy the seat next to you for only around $20 on a domestic leg and $30 international flight.
On the website of the carrier, they have a seat map of its aircraft. Naturally, it is very similar to many other airlines that have A320s, although some the seat names are translated to interesting terms:
- Fast Seats, front row to leave the plane first.
- Smart Seats, for those sitting behind the front row and in exit rows, assumingly because you need to be smart to operate the door.
- Pleasure seats for those sitting by a window or near the front of the plane.
Feel free to let us know in the comments what you think each means.