Former AKB48 Star Mariko Shinoda Rides Maiden Kansai-Narita Flight by Peach as "Official Cabin Attendant"

Former AKB48 Star Mariko Shinoda Rides Maiden Kansai-Narita Flight by Peach as

Mariko Shinoda and Peach CAs in front of "Mariko Jet"

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Peach, an airline operated by Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture-based Peach Aviation Limited, opened a new route on October 27. The route connects its hub at Kansai International Airport in Izumisano, outside the city of Osaka, with Narita International Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture outside Tokyo.

Peach's first route serving Japan's capital is starting out with two roundtrip flights a day, which will rise to three on January 10, 2014. Peach Aviation CEO Shinichi Inoue spoke enthusiastically about the carrier's expanded route network. "Peach is based in Kansai (western Japan), but we've had many passengers from the Tokyo area fly with us and we've received numerous requests to open a route connecting Tokyo with Kansai. By adding the Kansai-Narita service, travelers will be able to make daytrips and visit theme parks and other sites in Osaka and Tokyo in a way that feels just as easy as taking the train."

Mariko Shinoda, a former member of pop idol group AKB48, boarded the maiden flight, MM111, departing from Kansai Airport as an "official Peach cabin attendant." Shinoda commented, "My first Peach flight was super fun and I got to Tokyo before I knew it. It's so cute how they used my face to design the plane for this flight. I hope it becomes much more commonplace for people to take planes on trips." The jet sporting the special livery is nicknamed the "Mariko Jet," which Peach plans to fly on its routes through the end of March 2014.

One-way airfare between Kansai and Narita starts at JPY 3,790. The new route is Peach's fourteenth.