Saturday, 21 June 2014

Flying with Peach (Part 1: HKG-KIX)

Welcome to my Trip Report on Peach Aviation!

*Aircraft photos are credited to the respective photographers from airliners.net 



For my part 2, click here


Introduction

Flying on my favourite Low Cost Carrier to Osaka was an easy decision. The fare was also another factor why I decided to fly one way to Osaka and then return to Hong Kong from Osaka with Air India. Air India doesn't fly daily on this route so on the date I chose for the outbound flight, it wasn't available so peach was taking me there!

In this trip report, I will be doing 2 reports on this airline. Hong Kong to Osaka and Sapporo to Osaka. I paid about S$230 for one way ticket from Hong Kong to Osaka and S$80 for Sapporo to Osaka, quite a good deal if you ask me. This price includes the 20kg luggage allowance, date and flight are changeable and free seating except the emergency and the first row.

Just a few weeks before my flight, my friend on twitter notified me that the airline was cancelling around 400 over flights which means lots of flights especially domestic flights were affected. I had a quick look and my Sapporo to Osaka flight was affected. I originally booked myself on MM106, a mid-day flight, so I changed it to the evening flight, MM108 departing Sapporo at 6.10pm instead. It was a blessing in disguise! Read on to find out more!

I have flown with Peach before and you can check out the report over here.

About the website

The website is easy to use. English version is available for foreigners and you shouldn't have any problem navigating through it. If you do, you have to call up the office (no email) with the contact number listed in the website .

This time for both flights, I decided to purchase the Happy Peach Plus which wasn't much more expensive than the Happy Peach. The difference in fare is that for plus, one free luggage of less than 20Kg is allowed, free selection of seat (Very important for me) and unlimited changes to my itinerary. I had someone that booked with the Happy Peach fare had problems changing her itinerary, not sure what happen to her but hopefully things had worked out. 

The airline has updated its website since my last booking with this airline but functions are similar.






History of Peach Aviation

Peach Aviation is a Low Cost Carrier based in Osaka and also has a hub in Naha Airport at Okinawa. This airline started operation in February 2011, a joint venture between ANA (All Nippon Airways) and the First Eastern Investment Group. The airline got its operating certificate in April 2011 and started flights in March 2012. The first route is Kansai to Sapporo. Operating a fleet type of Airbus A320, the airline has grown from a small fleet to 17 (at this time - March 2016). This airline has set up a 3rd domestic airport base at Tokyo Narita and is currently doing quite well despite some turbulence in the past few years of operation. 

Current flight route of this airline 


On the day itself at Hong Kong

I reached Hong Kong from my CX714 flight at around 5.10am, pretty much on time. It was still dark and the airport was waking up for the day's activity. I had no where to go, wasn't too hungry but thanks to the airport's free wifi, I took advantage of it until my stomach had craving for some decent breakfast.




Getting busier as the time passed by. 





Its one of the busiest airports in the world. 







And that's my luggage for this trip! It weights about 13.5KG but on the return, it was 18kg! 


I checked on twitter and later on the monitor screen, my flight was delayed for 2 hours, and that turned out to be a blessing in disguise; was able to photograph beautiful shots of the sunset. The reason given from the airline was due to operation reason and that is shortage of pilots. Well, I hope the airline would get that sorted out by now. 

After that, I went for a quick breakfast at MacDonald's before checking in my luggage at Peach's counter. 









After that I decided to go to the air side for some photography session. At HKG airport, spotting is available either at the sky deck located at Terminal 2, aviation museum. Go all the way in and you will find a door leading to the sky deck. There is a fee of $15HK for one day, personally I feel they should waived it off. The sky deck is only useful if runway 25 is in used and I was lucky I was able to capture many interesting subjects, most aircraft I don't get to see in Singapore. 


Eastar Jet's Boeing 737-800



Kenya Airways' Boeing 767-300ER



EVA Air's MD-90



One of the aprons at HK Airport!



ANA's Boeing 777-200ER

One thing about HK Airport is that there are so much varieties of airlines over here that its hard to get bored especially for a foreign spotter.

Once my spotting was done, I made my way to the gate. Had to take the airport bus there. I expected the aircraft to be parked at the remote parking lot but I was wrong. 










Some of the passengers were not sure whether to board the bus as the flight status on the board didn't indicate whether boarding had commerced, hence they stayed put at a nearby bench and kept a constant look out on the screen. It was when an airport staff explained to them to take the bus there as there was where the waiting area was. I think there should be a sign to clear any confusion. 

Once, I was at the other side, I spotted my aircraft parking at the gate. Took some photos of the beauty, JA801P. I was slightly disappointed as I wanted to fly on one of the special liveries, JA805P or JA808P but nevertheless it was a new registration for me. My previous ride with Peach was on JA802P. 


Looking at the crowd at the gate, it looked like a full flight. I don't think many of them were happy with the delay.


There you go, my beautiful aircraft being watched by others too! 



Parking beside my plane was this beauty, heading for ICN. You can check out my trip report on Jeju Air over here.



Air China's Boeing 747-400, a daily flight from PEK (At this time)


BA's A380 just arrived from LHR!



Did both airlines just merge? ;)  




Route: HKG-KIX


My ride: JA801P




Beautiful livery, isn't it? Credit goes to the following photographers. 



My 48th airline
Date: 16th May 2014
Airline: Peach Aviation
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Registration: JA801P
Route: HKG-KIX 
Flight: MM64
Delivered on 4th November 2011
Engines: 2 X CFM56-5B4/3 
MSN: 4887
Configuration: Y180
Seat number: 25A
Flight duration: 3 hours 10 mins
Gate: 501
Departure time: 1230
Actual departure: 1430 (boarding started at 1450) 
Pushed back: 1522
Took off: 1540
Load: 100% 
Departure runway: 25L
Arrival runway: 06L
Schedule arrival: 1715
Actual arrival: 2005 

Departure time passed and we boarded the aircraft about 20 minutes after the departure time. The announcement was made with an apology. The crowd didn't seem to bothered about it, but I think there were some feeling disappointed. Once the announcement was made for boarding to start in a few minutes, the queue started and I was probably the last few to board it. I couldn't wait to get to Japan, so hopefully no further delay. This time, I got myself a window seat and happily snapping away. An elderly couple beside me wasn't too bothered with me and they were fast asleep not too long after the safety demonstration was done. Do check out my previous trip report on Peach for more photos of the cabin! 

Photos of the Y class seats




Seat pitch is standard among all the low cost carriers. Y180 for an A320 is the maximum capacity for this aircraft while the Boeing 737-800 can hold 9 seats more. However, the width of the fuselage of the A320 is slightly wider, making it more comfortable (in my opinion) than the 737. 



Full flight, it shows how popular these Low Cost Carriers are. 

Hong Kong to Japan routes are popular with both Hong Kong and Japanese people.





Extra menus and safety cards just in case. 


The cabin shot of Peach's A320. 



Cabin crew busy at work! As usual, they were very attentive to the passengers and look after each of us well! This is something Singaporean and Malaysian crew can learn from. Some friends told me its the cultural thing but I think good service should be from the heart and no where else. 

More photos of the cabin from Airliners.net


The crew's working space located at the rear. This is where all your snacks, food and drinks are stored. 



My in-flight experience 

Once all the passengers were on board, door was closed and the welcome announcement was made. I lost count on how many times the crew apologised to all of us for the delay and the Captain promised to make up for the loss time. That's service from you! No one likes delay and if there is, what the crew could make up is good service. They had done well in this aspect. 

Unfortunately, the hot food was sold out and what was available was the light snacks and drinks so I declined. Even the Peach T-shirt that I wanted to purchase was not available, kind of disappointing if you ask me. 

Nevertheless, I enjoyed every minute of the flight, watching the sky go pass in very smooth and calm weather condition. The last time I flew to Osaka, it was very bumpy especially after entering Japanese airspace, but this time it was completely different. I had a very nice sunset view. Do check out my photos and for this, I would say the delay was a great blessing in disguise!

Some photos of the toilet! 







Window shot photos




















Clear of take off, Peach Aviation! 



Lifted off smoothly and surprisingly no turbulence during take off. 





Only flying will give you views like this. 











I enjoyed every minute of this flight! 







Here comes the sunset.  It may not be possible without the delay.









My rating:

Airline's website: 6/10
Hong Kong Airport Experience: 9/10
Check-in staff: 7/10
In-flight service: 9/10
Cabin interior: 9/10
Seat comfort: 6/10
Cleanliness: 10/10
Aircraft condition: 10/10
Punctuality: 5/10 (3 hours delay - I got to enjoy the sunset if not because for the delay so it turns out to be a blessing) 
In-flight enjoyment: 10/10
Overall rating: 81/100

Conclusion

The disappointment of this flight was not able to buy a hot meal as it was sold out. This was my 2nd flight experience with this airline and even though the cabin is similar to other Low Cost Carriers, what stands out to me about this airline is the in-flight service once again - outstanding. I have experienced good service but the Japanese have taken these words to the next level. The crew were friendly and could speak English reasonably well. With a full load of mix Japanese and Hong Kong passengers, the crew were able to handle it with patience and friendliness. This set of crew consist of 3 female and a male crew and all 4 of them were courteous. 

Do check out my overview conclusion in my next part: CTS-KIX. 

Thanks for reading!

For my part 2, click here

Cheers,
Charles 


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