StarFlyer

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StarFlyer
スターフライヤー
StarFlyer logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
7G SFJ STARFLYER
Founded17 December 2002; 17 years ago (17 December 2002)
Commenced operations16 March 2006
Operating bases
Frequent-flyer programStar Link
Fleet size13
Destinations6
Parent companyStar Flyer Inc. TYO: 9206
HeadquartersKitakyūshū, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan
Key peopleMakoto Takahashi (Acting President)
RevenueIncrease JPY 25.1 billion (FY2013)
Net incomeDecrease JPY 287 million (FY2013)
Total assetsIncrease JPY 17.1 billion (FY2013)
Total equityIncrease JPY 4.8 billion (FY2013)
Employees699 (March 31, 2017)[1]
Websitewww.starflyer.jp
StarFlyer headquarters

StarFlyer Inc. (株式会社スターフライヤー, Kabushiki-gaisha Sutāfuraiyā) is a Japanese airline headquartered on the grounds of Kitakyushu Airport in Kokuraminami-ku, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka Prefecture.[2] It describes itself as a "hybrid airline" providing a higher level of service than low-cost carriers while having operating costs lower than full-service legacy carriers.[3] Although the airlines IATA code is 7G, domestically it has also used the code MQ for its flights.[4]

History[edit]

StarFlyer was founded as Kobe Airlines (神戸航空, Kōbe Kōkū) on December 17, 2002 with the intention of being based at the new Kobe Airport. The company changed its name to StarFlyer in May 2003, and moved to Kitakyushu at the end of 2003.[5] The airline was founded by former Japan Airlines technician Takaaki Hori and former All Nippon Airways executive Yasushi Muto, who respectively served as president and senior vice president of the company until 2009.[6] Its headquarters were initially in the Shin Kokura Building (新小倉ビル, Shin Kokura Biru) in Kokura Kita-ku, Kitakyūshū;[7] in 2010 the airline announced that the headquarters would move to Kitakyushu Airport.[8]

StarFlyer began service upon the opening of New Kitakyushu Airport on March 16, 2006.[9]

StarFlyer Airbus A320-200, City of Kitakyushu

All Nippon Airways began an operational relationship with StarFlyer in 2005, allowing StarFlyer to use its computerized reservations system. This relationship expanded to code sharing in 2007, under which StarFlyer service between Haneda and Kitakyushu (and later between Haneda and Fukuoka) was marketed under ANA's airline code. The code sharing immediately boosted StarFlyer's load factors from 59% to over 70%.[9]

In April 2008 the company announced that it would begin charter flights to Seoul in July. The airline said it would evaluate the flights to consider whether to start regular service between the two cities (in the meantime, its call center handles reservations for Jeju Air on this route). In addition, it has also prepared to start charter service to Hong Kong. StarFlyer operated packaged tour charter flights from Kitakyushu to Guam in August 2013 with an aim to provide more "program charter" services in the future.[10]

StarFlyer initially planned an IPO in fiscal year 2008, but poor financial and operating performance delayed the IPO; among other issues, the airline failed to use appropriate fuel hedging to control its costs, and also had limited ability to raise capital. Hori and Muto resigned from their positions in June 2009, and Shinichi Yonehara, a former Mitsui & Co. aircraft trading executive, became president of the company.[6] Under Yonehara's leadership, the airline completed its IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in December 2011.[5]

The airline suffered a massive cancellation following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, as 13 of its 29 pilots at the time were non-Japanese, and seven of them were overseas and had refused to return to Japan.[11]

In December 2012, ANA announced that it had acquired an 18% stake in StarFlyer, making it the largest shareholder in the airline.[12]

In 2013, StarFlyer announced that it would start service between Fukuoka and Kansai International Airport in Osaka, targeting business travelers on a highly competitive city pair where the Sanyo Shinkansen high-speed rail service has a market share of around 80%. StarFlyer announced that it would offer discount fares starting at 4,500 yen to compete with both rail service and the discount airline Peach.[13]

StarFlyer announced a restructuring in November 2013, as part of which it would cut 30 of its employees, suspend its service to Busan effective 30 March 2014, and reduce its fleet from eleven to nine aircraft.[14] StarFlyer was also considering raising fares on its key domestic routes from Haneda to Kitakyushu and Fukuoka.[15]

Corporate relationships[edit]

StarFlyer checkin counter

As of March 2013, ANA Holdings is the largest shareholder in the company with a 17.96% stake, and several companies that have major operations in the northern Kyushu region are also significant shareholders, including TOTO, Yaskawa Electric Corporation, Kyushu Electric Power Company and Nissan Motor Company.[16]

Kitakyushu Bank has a credit card mileage partnership with StarFlyer.[17] Yamaguchi Financial Group, the parent company of Kitakyushu Bank, made publicized efforts to support StarFlyer's Busan service by approaching businesses, tourism organizations and Japanese expatriate groups in the Busan region.[18]

StarFlyer provides ground handling services for Delta Air Lines at Haneda Airport in Tokyo.[19]

Destinations[edit]

A StarFlyer Airbus A320-200 at Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan. (2008)

StarFlyer serves the following destinations (as of February 2019):[20]

Country City Province/Region Airport Notes Refs
Japan Fukuoka Kyūshū Fukuoka Airport
Kitakyūshū Kyūshū Kitakyushu Airport
Nagoya Honshu Chūbu Centrair International Airport
Naha Ryukyu Islands Naha Airport
Osaka Honshu Kansai International Airport
Tokyo Honshu Haneda Airport Hub
Ube Honshu Yamaguchi Ube Airport
South Korea Busan Busan Metropolitan City Gimhae International Airport Terminated
Seoul Seoul Capital Area Incheon International Airport Terminated
Taiwan Taipei Taoyuan Taoyuan International Airport

StarFlyer plans to resume international service in October 2018 with daily flights from Nagoya and Kitakyushu to Taipei.[21]

Fleet[edit]

Interior of a StarFlyer Airbus A320-200

The StarFlyer fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of August 2019):[22]

StarFlyer Fleet
Aircraft In Fleet Passengers Notes
Airbus A320-200 13[23] 150 5 fitted with winglets

Most of the Star Flyer A320 fleet is leased from GECAS and AWAS,[24] but the airline purchased three A320s to replace older leased aircraft; JA01MC was retired on April 30, 2014 to bring its fleet to a total of ten aircraft, of which 5 aircraft will be leased in the future.[25]

StarFlyer's 9 Airbus A320-200 aircraft are equipped with either 144 or 150 passenger seats in an all economy class cabin layout.[26] Each passenger has a personal LCD monitor offering in-flight television, as well as powerports for notebook computers. StarFlyer plans to offer in-flight Internet service in the future. Japan Airlines is the other Japanese airline that also offers wi-fi service. In November 2015, StarFlyer confirmed 6 more A320 and 5 A321 to bring the airline fleet to 20 aircraft. They have also add 5 options for the A321 to bring the aircraft to 25. As of October 2017, StarFlyer plans to operate a 12-aircraft fleet by June 2018, and a 15-aircraft fleet by end of 2019.[21]

Livery[edit]

The company's black and white aircraft livery and corporate branding were designed under the art direction of Tatsuya Matsui, a noted robot designer, in conjunction with SGI Japan. Matsui based the airline's brand identity around the concept of a "Mother Comet" taking passengers through space to their destination. His design work extended to aircraft interiors, airport facilities and in-flight service implements, including the airline's signature leather seats and chocolates.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.starflyer.jp/starflyer/corporate/outline.html
  2. ^ 会社概要. StarFlyer. Retrieved December 20, 2010. 本社 〒800-0306 福岡県北九州市小倉南区空港北町6番 北九州空港スターフライヤー本社ビル
  3. ^ http://contents.xj-storage.jp/contents/92060/T/PDF-GENERAL/20130814982388.pdf[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ STARFLYER PASSENGER BULLETIN
  5. ^ a b 沿革. Starflyer.jp. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  6. ^ a b スターフライヤーに全日空が「熟柿作戦」. FACTA. July 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Company Profile." StarFlyer. Retrieved on May 26, 2009. "Location Shin-Kokura Bldg.,2-2-1 Komemachi Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyusyu-shi Fukuoka 802-0003 JPN"
  8. ^ スターフライヤー、北九州空港へ本社移転-業務効率化目指し今秋に. Hangata Communications. January 4, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2010. 同社の本社機能についてはかねてより2011年に同空港内への移転計画が伝えられていたが、予定を早めて今年秋に実施することを決めたもの。
  9. ^ a b "Japan's StarFlyer looks to expand its successful niche – but change is afoot". CAPA Centre for Aviation. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  10. ^ Yoshikawa, Tadayuki (2 August 2013). スターフライヤー、グアムへチャーター便就航. Aviation Wire. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  11. ^ 外国人機長が来日できず、スターフライヤー102便運休 4月. The Nikkei. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  12. ^ 全日空、スターフライヤーへの18%出資を発表. The Nikkei. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  13. ^ スターフライヤー、関空―福岡線4500円から 新幹線に対抗. The Nikkei. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  14. ^ Yoshikawa, Tadayuki (15 November 2013). スターフライヤー、釜山線運休 希望退職など経営合理化. Aviation Wire. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  15. ^ 石田, 宗久 (15 November 2013). <スターフライヤー>希望退職者を募集 定期の釜山線運休へ. 毎日新聞. Archived from the original on 19 November 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  16. ^ "11th AGM Notice" (PDF). StarFlyer. Retrieved 18 November 2013.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ 北九州銀が開業2年 地元密着で預金・融資は順調. The Nikkei. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  18. ^ 山口FG、スターフライヤー北九州―釜山線の集客支援. The Nikkei. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  19. ^ スターフライヤー、デルタのハンドリング業務受託-羽田空港で. FlyTeam. 2 January 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  20. ^ StarFlyer destinations & timetable starflyer.co.jp
  21. ^ a b スターフライヤー、台北線で国際線再参入. The Nikkei (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  22. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2019 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2019): 18.
  23. ^ "Starflyer Fleet Details and History". www.planespotters.net. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  24. ^ http://www.awas.com/Portals/0/pdf/Press%20Release%20-%20Starflyer%20-%208%20June%202011%20-%20Final.pdf
  25. ^ Yoshikawa, Tadayuki (20 January 2014). スターフライヤー、13号機が24日到着へ 10機体制に. Aviation Wire. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  26. ^ "StarFlyer fleet list at planespotters.net
  27. ^ 「Posy」の松井龍哉氏、エアラインをデザイン - ITmedia LifeStyle. Itmedia.co.jp. Retrieved 2014-04-12.

External links[edit]