Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 201,532
2013: 330,818

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Air Canada rouge Expands to Western Canada

Air Canada rouge's inaugural YVR-LAS Airbus A319 flight at the gate on a rainy Vancouver morning.

Air Canada rouge’s inaugural YVR-LAS Airbus A319 flight at the gate on a rainy Vancouver morning

You may have read the recent commentary and analysis by AirlineReporter’s Bernie Leighton, “You Get What You Pay For Rant: Why Economy Class Is What It Is.”  I certainly did. It seemed fitting, then, that just a couple of days later, I was invited to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) for Air Canada rouge‘s first Western Canada flight.

Air Canada rouge is an “airline within an airline”, and is part of the Air Canada Leisure Group along with inclusive-tour operator, Air Canada Vacations.  The airline is positioned as Air Canada’s “Leisure” carrier, intended to get passengers to their vacation destinations.  Air Canada rouge launched last July 1st with flights from Toronto (YYZ) and Montreal (YUL) to Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the U.S. In addition to specific vacation travel, Air Canada is hoping to make its unprofitable routes financially viable by a transfer to Air Canada rouge, which has lower operating costs. Bernie talked all about that, and CASMs and RASMs, in his rant.

By the end of 2014, Air Canada will have transferred 47 routes to rouge. Another seven routes new to the AC network will be operated exclusively by rouge. The just-announced Western Canada routes include YVR to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, and seasonal service to Anchorage.  From Calgary, flights will go to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

The Air Canada rouge fleet is made up of Airbus A319s and Boeing 767-300ERs, transferred from Air Canada’s mainline fleet. As of the end of April, there were 15 A319s and four 767s flying for the leisure carrier. Ultimately, rouge may have up to 30 A319s and 20 767s, with the 767s coming into the fleet as Air Canada receives its new 787 Dreamliners. Continue reading Air Canada rouge Expands to Western Canada

Japan Offers New Low Cost Carrier Option: Peach Airlines

Fun, cool and trendy Peach Airlines livery on an Airbus A320.

Fun, cool and trendy Peach Airlines livery on an Airbus A320.

Soon, Japan will have another Low Cost Carrier (LCC) option for passengers: Peach Airlines. The airline will operate out of Kansai International Airport (KIX) in Osaka, Japan. Peach plans to start operations no later than March 2012 between Sappora and Fukuoka and to Seoul in May 2012.

The airline has three major share holders: All Nippon Airways (ANA), Innovation Network Corporation of Japan and the First Eastern Investment Group. Although ANA holds a slightly larger share than the other two investors, I am told the airline will operate independently from ANA.

According to the airline, the name “Peach” was chosen to symbolize energy and happiness across Asian countries. “The name Peach was chosen to reflect our mission of becoming a completely new type of airline that links destinations in Japan and Japan with Asia,” Peach Aviation CEO, Shinichi Inoue stated. “Our promise is to provide safe, low cost travel 365 days of the year, making air travel easier and more accessible. Our airline will also reflect the smart sophistication that has come to represent the words ‘Cool Japan’.”

Although the name might be “Peach,” their livery will be made up of purples and pinks. The colors are supposed to represent “cuteness, coolness and happiness.” Okay, we can go with that. At this point, the airline only has graphical representations of the livery, but an airline spokesperson said we should be able to see the livery an an aircraft sometime in the fall. The airline planes to lease brand new Airbus A320 aircraft in an all economy 180-seat configuration.

The airline has shown some possible concepts of their flight crew’s uniform and they look very trendy, laid back and young.

Interior mock up for Peach Airline's Airbus A320.

Interior mock up for Peach Airline's Airbus A320.

You might not realize that P.E.A.C.H. is also an acronym. According the website it matches up to the type of experience you should expect: Pan – Asian, Energetic, Affordable, Cute & Cool, Happy.

The airline explained to me over email that they,  “are targeting a wide range of people, but much of our focus is targeting young females.”

Is Japan ready for a low cost airline targeted at the younger and more female population? I am not sure, but it sure seems like ANA and other investors sure thing so.

EDIT: I had originally stated Peach would be Japan’s first Low Cost airline, that is incorrect, I have updated the story. Thanks.