[ANALYSIS] Year of the Low-Cost Carriers

This year is already looking bright for new low-cost carriers, as three well-known airlines are launching low-cost carrier subsidiaries. We’ve got Peach, an Osaka-based airline in which Tokyo’s ANA has a stake, Singapore Airlines’ LCC-spinoff Scoot, and Iberia’s Iberia Express. Here’s the breakdown of the three carriers that are launching and what their strategy seems to be:

Peach | Osaka Kansai International Airport, Japan

The Airline

Peach, a joint-venture between Tokyo’s All Nippon Airways and First Eastern Investment Group, will fly its first commercial flights on  March 1, from Osaka – Sapporo and Osaka – Fukoka. The airline seems to place a heavy emphasis on safety; there is an entire section of their website dedicated to explaining safety procedures and commitments.

The airline appears to have a lot of spunk. In the FAQs section of their website, they address the reasoning behind the name “Peach.”

Peach is a common fruit known by everyone. Peach has been appreciated in Asia as a symbol of long life, prosperity, energy and happiness since ancient times. Moreover, the Japanese peach is popular in Asia due to its flavor and beautiful form. Peach aims to become an airline company loved by both Asia and Japan much like the fruit, and to provide a flight service where anyone can enjoy easy, convenient travel.

Aircraft: 2 Airbus A320-214s with seating for 180 passengers. 8 A320s on order.

Destinations (by April 1): Fukoka, Kagoshima, Osaka (Kansai), Sapporo, Nagasaki

Website: flypeach.com

Callsign: MM

Scoot | Singapore Changi International Airport, Singapore

The Airline

Scoot is a no-frills, low-cost carrier which plans to start service in 2012. Owned by Singapore Airlines, notorious for spectacular, premium, overdressed service, Scoot is poised to provide serious competition on Pacific LCC routes currently dominated by the likes of Qantas’  Jetstar and Air Asia X. They’ve announced their intent to deploy Boeing 777-200ERs on high-traffic routes like Sydney-Singapore.

Preliminary reports indicate that the aircraft will be configured in a high-density, two-class layout consisting of thirty to forty premium seats and 370 economy seats.

Aircraft: 4 Boeing 777-200ERs (operated as Boeing 777-200s) with seating for nearly 400 passengers.

Destinations: Sydney, Singapore, and more to be announced

Website: flyscoot.com

Callsign: unassigned

Iberia Express | Madrid Barajas International Airport, Spain

The Airline

Little is known about IAG’s venture into the low-cost carrier scene. Iberia Express aims to operate, at lower costs, Iberia’s short- and medium-haul routes, and then feed into Iberia’s more expansive international network based out of Madrid.

Iberia Express was originally slated to be launched some time ago, but was shelved due to the Iberia merger with British Airways. However, it looks like everything’s full speed ahead now, and the carrier plans to start service this March. They recently named Vueling CEO Luis Gallego the chief executive.

Aircraft: 4 Airbus A320s

Destinations: Short- and medium-haul routes to/from the Barajas hub in Madrid.

Website: unassigned

Callsign: I2