Japan's Peach to lease seven more A320s

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Japanese low-cost carrier Peach Aviation has signed a letter of intent to lease an additional seven Airbus A320-200s.

These aircraft will be added to its fleet from the second half of 2013 through to 2015, says its chief executive Shinichi Inoue.

The aircraft, to be configured with 180 seats, will be powered by CFM International CFM56-5B engines.

A spokesman declined to say which lessor these aircraft will be from.

Inoue, however, adds that Peach will also consider the re-engined A320neo for beyond 2015, "in line with its proactive route development and future business expansion". The planning for further aircraft procurement will start in the beginning of fiscal year 2013.

Peach, which started operations in March, now has a fleet of six A320s. A further four aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by 2013. All 10 aircraft are on lease from GECAS.

Speaking to Flightglobal on the sidelines of a Star Alliance event recently, All Nippon Airways president and chief executive Shinichiro Ito says Peach has achieved a "good start" with its load factor averaging at about 77%.

The carrier, based at Osaka's Kansai International Airport, operates five domestic and three international services. It is also planning to set up a second base at Okinawa's Naha airport, says a spokesman.

Peach is 33.4% owned by Japan's ANA, while Hong Kong investment firm Innovation Network Corp of Japan has a 33.3% stake and Hong Kong's First Investment Group owns the remaining 33.3% stake.