• Kyodo

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Peach Aviation Ltd. began canceling flights Monday in a hiatus that will last through the fall because the budget airline failed to fill its cabin crew schedules this summer.

Last month, it announced up to 2,088 cancellations from May 19 to Oct. 25, or around 16 percent of its flights. It said the cuts would affect 26,000 passengers and slash revenues by about ¥3 billion. In May and June, 448 flights will be canceled, including 44 overseas services linking Osaka to Seoul and Hong Kong, Peach said.

The low-cost carrier pioneered Japan’s budget sector and enjoyed soaring demand after its launch in 2012. But industry analysts say that Peach’s cancellations highlight its fragile business structure — the airline cited pilot illness as one reason why it could not meet its schedules.

CEO Shinichi Inoue said in Tokyo last month that eight of its 52 pilots had been absent for long periods due to health reasons and that it would be unable to promote co-pilots or recruit new skippers as hoped.

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