• Staff Report


Starflyer Inc. has filed an application for an air transport business license with a plan to operate 12 daily round-trip flights between Tokyo’s Haneda airport and a new airport in Kitakyushu, its president said.

Starflyer submitted the application Wednesday to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, and the ministry will take some four months to screen Starflyer’s plans.

If approved, Starflyer would be the first new Japanese carrier to use Haneda for scheduled flights in the 3 1/2 years since Skynet Asia Airways Co. launched flights between Haneda and the city of Miyazaki in 2002.

“Starflyer would like to offer the highest quality service to attract customers, to make sure they will choose us again once they board our plane,” President Takaaki Hori said.

Starflyer plans to start the Haneda-New Kitakyushu flights when the new airport opens next March 16, with a fare of some 20,000, yen against about 30,000 yen planned by a major existing carrier.

But the company is not intending to operate as a mere budget airline, as its airplanes will have leather seats and 14 cm more space between seats than other airlines, Starflyer officials said.

The Kitakyushu-based carrier expects to earn an operating profit on 12 billion yen in sales in its first year, securing an average seat occupancy rate of 60 percent. It will own three Airbus A320s. The president said Starflyer has recently issued 2.1 billion yen in new equity shares.

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