Starflyer to Become "Hybrid Carrier" Adding Int'l Routes Serving Haneda

On May 11, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture-based Starflyer Inc. (IATA code: 7G) announced a new policy for its next three-year mid-term business plan. The company hopes to become a "hybrid airline" that combines a traditional "legacy carrier" with a low-cost carrier (LCC) as it opens up international routes serving Haneda Airport.

Starflyer's stock was listed on the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange last December, six years after the company was founded. The firm will pursue an original business model that "offers higher quality service than legacy carriers at a more reasonable price," and establish itself as an industry leader with a competitive brand as a "hybrid airline" that is neither a legacy carrier nor an LCC.

Starflyer listed specific steps it will take, including "expand the domestic and international network," "strengthen the business infrastructure" and "pursue service with high quality and high added value." The airline hopes to expand flight volume and add routes for domestic service to Haneda by using new domestic landing slots at the airport coming in spring 2013, while adding new international routes to East Asia and elsewhere by securing international landing slots at Haneda for the 2014 fiscal year ending March 31. The carrier will make efforts to reform its cost structure and improve flight service quality.

Starflyer envisages future commercial flight volume on international routes rising to an additional three roundtrip flights a day in 2013, followed by five to seven daily flights in 2014.