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Singapore and Vietnam among fresh destinations for Peach

Japanese budget airline to expand midrange flights to Southeast Asia

A Peach airplane takes off from Kansai International Airport, which serves greater Osaka.

OSAKA -- Japanese low-cost carrier Peach Aviation is considering flying to Southeast Asia as early as 2020, hoping to capture travel demand around the fast-growing region.

Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia are among the likely destinations cited by CEO Shinichi Inoue for the seven- to nine-hour medium-haul service slated to begin around that year. "Hub airports are expected to help attract passengers from surrounding areas," Inoue told Nikkei recently.

The ANA Holdings unit envisions offering such flights from all four of the Japanese airports it uses: Kansai International Airport, serving greater Osaka; New Chitose Airport, on the northern island of Hokkaido; Sendai Airport, in northeast Japan; and Naha Airport, in Okinawa.

Peach plans to absorb Vanilla Air, another ANA group budget airline serving mainly greater Tokyo, by the end of fiscal 2019. Flights out of Narita Airport near Tokyo are expected to increase with the consolidation.

Competition for budget medium-haul flights out of Japan is expected to intensify as Jetstar Japan and ANA's biggest competitor, Japan Airlines, move to launch their own services.

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