Japanese Airline Peach Aviation is getting into the pleasure flight business by offering sightseeing and learning trips to school children. Following a slump in demand brought on by the worldwide COVID-19 global pandemic, the budget airline hopes that, by offering its services to schools, it will improve its finances.
￼The airline, got the idea to start pleasure flights after having been contacted by the Kansai Sky Friends Association. The Association is comprised of local elementary school and junior high school students that are interested in aviation.
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ANA owns peach Aviation
The All Nippon Airways low-cost subsidiary took to the skies over the weekend carrying 120 members of the association on their first sightseeing flights. The Airbus A320 aircraft left Kansai International Airport (KIX) in the city of Izumisano, Osaka, for a two-hour flight over the Shikoku and Kyushu regions.
While in the air, inquisitive passengers got a tour of the cockpit and learned how the pilots and cabin crew perform their duties before the aircraft returned to the same airport it had taken off from. Peach Aviation now plans on building on experience by offering more sightseeing/learning trips to other interested schools and groups.
When reporting on the flight, the Japan Times quotes Peach Aviation CEO Takeaki Mori as saying,
“To make effective use of our aircraft and earn revenue, we thought it would be beneficial to enter the pleasure flight business.”
Peach’s first aircraft was an Airbus A320 delivered to its main hub at Kansai International Airport (KIX) in November 2011. According to Planespotters.net, Peach Aviation now has an all-Airbus fleet of 32 A320-200s and one Airbus A320neo.
In its current fleet, the Japanese budget carrier has two named aircraft, it’s first called “Peach Dream” and its tenth that the airline named “Wing of Tohoku.” The airline’s first-ever flight was on March 1, 2012, between Osaka Kansai and the then New Chitose Airport (CTS), which serves the Sapporo metropolitan area.
Of the three new Japanese start-up airlines, Peach Aviation outperformed fellow low-cost carriers Jetstar and AirAsia Japan during its first year of operations with an average load factor of 80%. Credit for this performance was given to its round-the-clock flights and its exclusive terminal at Kansai International Airport (KIX).
In another first, Peach Aviation became the first airline in Japan to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.
New sources of revenue
During the current coronavirus crisis, we have seen all kinds of ways airlines are trying to develop ideas to bring in revenue. Royal Brunei Airlines, All Nippon Airways, and Taiwanese start-up Starlux all took guests on sightseeing flights to nowhere. At the same time, Singapore Airlines turned one of its Airbus A380s into an on the ground dining experience.
￼Looking at it now, Peach Aviation’s decision to work with schools and groups interested in aviation sounds like a no-brainer. It could well be something other airlines will look at as they ￼try and recover from what has been the worst slump in aviation history.
What do you think about Peach Aviation’s idea? Please tell us what you think in the comments.