Jetstar Japan revives plan for Osaka Kansai base

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Jetstar Japan has applied to the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) to establish its second engineering and maintenance base at Osaka Kansai airport.

The low-cost carrier intends to place three aircraft at Kansai upon receiving approval, but could not specify details or timeframes about the base, as the application is pending, says a carrier spokeswoman.

This is the carrier's second attempt at establishing an Osaka base. The spokeswoman says it withdrew an earlier application, saying that it “needed more time to bed down internal administrative processes and resourcing.”

The first attempt, which took place in late 2012, was stymied when the JCAB found that two of the carrier's mechanics, who were named as chief mechanics, failed to meet the company's internal standards. These require mechanics to have at least three years of airline experience before becoming chief mechanics. Neither met this criteria.

Despite not having the sufficient years of experience to take on the role, they certified maintenance work, a task usually undertaken by chief mechanics. Prior to this relevation, the earlier approval had been expected in December 2012.

With its repeat application now pending, Jetstar Japan’s focus is on the establishment of the base, the spokeswoman adds.

She also believes that the entry of Spring Airlines Japan into the country will help to grow the market, and raise the awareness about low-cost carriers in Japan. Spring Japan is expected to begin operations from Tokyo Narita to Hiroshima, Saga and Takamatsu in the coming weeks.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database shows that Jetstar Japan now operates 18 Airbus A320s. It also operates 14 routes to 10 Japanese destinations.