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Japanese budget airline Peach Aviation on Sunday entered the pleasure flight business and offered its first sightseeing flight service.

Faced with a slump in travel demand stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, the airline hopes to improve its earnings through the new business.

What prompted Peach Aviation, based in Tajiri, Osaka Prefecture, to start pleasure flight services was a proposal to do so by the Kansai Sky Friends Association, which is made up of local elementary and junior high students who are interested in the world of aviation.

About 120 people, including members of the association, got on the first sightseeing flight by the airline. The aircraft left Kansai International Airport in the city of Izumisano, Osaka, flew for about two hours over the Shikoku and Kyushu regions and returned to the same airport. During the flight, the passengers learned about the work of pilots and cabin crew members.

Peach Aviation, a unit of ANA Holdings Inc., aims to promote its pleasure flight services for utilization for school trips.

"To make effective use of our aircraft and earn revenue, we thought it would be beneficial to enter the pleasure flight business," Takeaki Mori, chief operating officer of Peach Aviation, said in an address before the first flight.

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