It’s a weird name for a plane, but Peach Airlines does really exist. Claiming to be the first ‘LCC’ (low cost carrier) in Japan, it’s headquartered in Osaka’s Kansai International Airport (KIX) and currently flies internationally to/from Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, as well as domestically within Japan.
Peach Airlines started operations in March 2012, so it’s still relatively new and not many people seem to know about it yet. However, it’s starting to get quite popular as more and more people find out (meaning, it’s getting tougher to book tickets).
I flew from HKG to KIX in early May 2013 and found it to be a pretty decent no-frills airline. Having checked the arrival and departure times a few days before going, it had a good record with only slight delays (about 30 minutes if any). Luckily, there were no delays on my flights, which departed at 0:35 and landed at 5:25 in Osaka, and came back to Hong Kong at 23:55 after departing Osaka at 21:25.
The A320 airplane was white with girly shades of pink and purple, as were the seats and uniforms of the flight attendants. Seats are typical size — not too big and not too small — but I must say the seat backs are quite thin as you can literally feel every nudge and poke if the person behind you fills up the seat pocket (and keeps rummaging through it every few minutes, as mine did!).
I didn’t try any of the food on the plane but they do offer meals, drinks, duty-free shopping and special train ticket bundles. The flight was only four hours long (of which I was asleep most of the time) so can’t comment too much on that. When we landed in KIX, we needed to take the stairs down and then walk about 100 metres into the terminal building.
To check-in at KIX, you’ll need to scan the barcode off your flight details so remember to bring a print-out of it, or prepare to wait in (a very long) line.
Overall, my experience with Peach Airlines was pretty good and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a cheaper way to fly direct to Osaka. Word is they will be adding routes to Chengdu, Manila and Macau soon so keep an eye out!