Low-cost carrier Peach Aviation Ltd. will offer an unlimited travel pass that will allow holders to take any of the airline’s domestic flights for one month in an effort to revive the tourism industry hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Osaka-based company will begin selling a total of 150 passes from noon on Tuesday with the price ranging from 19,800 yen ($170) to 39,800 yen depending on different options, after Japan eased travel restrictions following a decline in COVID-19 cases nationwide.
Passengers head to board a Peach Aviation Ltd. aircraft at Kansai airport in Osaka Prefecture on July 1, 2021. (Kyodo)
Pass holders will be able to board on all 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 enjoy so-called “workations,” allowing people to take a trip while working online.
While railway companies often sell all-you-can-ride passes, it is rare for a Japanese airline to offer such services, the company said. People aged 12 and over with a valid photo ID are eligible for the passes.
Japan saw record numbers of coronavirus cases during this summer’s fifth wave of infections, prompting the government to issue a state of emergency for Tokyo and other parts of the country that urged people to refrain from making unnecessary outings and traveling across prefectural borders.
The state of emergency as well as a quasi-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, which are the “lite” plan, which only covers travel fares, and the standard plan that also allows passengers to select their seats and check in one item of luggage for free.
The lite pass and standard pass will cost 19,800 yen and 29,800 yen, respectively, for the first total of 30 passes that are sold. For the remaining 120, the passes will each cost 10,000 yen more.
In July last year, Japan launched the “Go To Travel” subsidy program to promote domestic tourism that 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 that he will consider when to resume it following the full lifting of the state of emergency.