Peach Aviation to offer unlimited passes to boost tourism

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Passengers walk towards a Peach Aviation Ltd. plane. at Kansai Airport in Osaka Prefecture on July 1, 2021 (Kyodo)

OSAKA (Kyodo) – Low cost airline Peach Aviation Ltd. will offer an unlimited travel pass that will allow holders to take any domestic airline flight for one month in a bid to revive the tourism industry hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Osaka-based company will start selling a total of 150 passes starting at noon Tuesday with prices ranging from 19,800 yen ($ 170) to 39,800 yen under different options, after Japan eased travel restrictions. following a drop in COVID-19 cases nationwide.

Pass holders will be able to board the 33 domestic routes offered by the carrier in November, the airline said, adding that it hopes people will explore different parts of the country or even take advantage of so-called “workations.” allowing people to take a trip while working online.

While railways often sell all-you-can-eat passes, it’s rare for a Japanese airline to offer such services, the company said. Persons aged 12 and over with valid photo ID are eligible for the passes.

Japan has seen a record number of coronavirus cases during the fifth wave of infections this summer, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency for Tokyo and other parts of the country, urging them people to refrain from making unnecessary outings and crossing prefectural borders.

The state of emergency as well as a near-state of emergency ended in September following a steady decline in COVID-19 infections nationwide.

Peach Aviation will offer two types of unlimited travel passes, namely the “lite” plan, which only covers travel fares, and the standard plan which also allows passengers to select their seats and check baggage for free.

The lite pass and the standard pass will cost 19,800 yen and 29,800 yen respectively, for the first total of 30 passes sold. For the remaining 120, the passes will each cost an additional 10,000 yen.

In July last year, Japan launched the “Go To Travel” grant program to promote domestic tourism which had suffered during the pandemic. But the government suspended it in December following a resurgence in COVID cases.

Tetsuo Saito, Japan’s new tourism minister, said earlier this month he would consider taking it over after the state of emergency is fully lifted.


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