Local News

Starflyer Ridership Up Again

Kitakyushu-based airline StarFlyer reported that ridership on its sole international route to Pusan last December increased one point year-on-year to 60.7%, making for the third consecutive monthly uptick. At one point, figures dipped into the 30% range because of the territorial spat between Japan and Korea, but beefed-up sales promotions in Korea have led to a rebound in ridership. StarFlyer launched the two daily round-trip route last July, which allows its riders to make day trips, and its initial day-trip fares as low as ¥6,,000 garnered much attention. Ridership exceeded 80% at first, but fell sharply after Korean President Lee Myung-bak visited Takeshima Island in Shimane Prefecture (called Dokdo in Korean) in August.

In September, the company began offering round-trips leaving Kitakyushu in the evening and returning from Pusan the following morning. Dubbed Pusan Night Fares, these initially ran between ¥7,600 and ¥9,000. To secure more Korean riders, StarFlyer began offering discounts of up to 20% on tickets sold in Korea. According to the company, the route is profitable when monthly ridership is in the 60% – 70% range, and it is forecasting figures in the 60% range again for January and February. “We have finally started to penetrate the market. We plan to boost the number of Korean passengers by promoting the sights of Kitakyushu and the surrounding area in Korea,” commented a StarFlyer official. Source: Nishinippon Shimbun, Feb. 5

Travel & Tourism
Published: Feb 6, 2013 / Last Updated: Apr 1, 2016

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