If your travel budget is getting low, you might be interested in Spring Airlines. The Chinese company
is based in Shanghai and is currently offering passengers free plane tickets to Japan. This promotion is a bid that they are hoping will increase demand.
This recent marketing effort was caused in part due to a territorial dispute involving China and Japan. Both countries were engaged in a struggle over the Daioyu islands. This tension between the countries led to a drop in the number of Chinese people traveling to Japan. The islands, also known as Senkaku islands, are a highly disputed issue.
In order to boost the number of travelers, Spring Airlines is planning to offer customers free round-trip tickets that are good for travel between the Pudong airport in China and Saga Prefecture in Japan. As one of the largest privately run, low-cost airlines, Spring Airlines is going to offer this promotion until the 20th of December, giving tourists almost two months to take advantage of this special offer.
At this time, half of the flights that are currently traveling to Saga are barely half full. The flights travel three times each week and before the dispute, they had close to a 90% occupancy rate. After the territorial dispute, this number has dropped by half. Spring airlines has also cancelled 10 of their planned flights between both Shanghai and Tottori in Japan. The occupancy on their flights traveling to Tokyo has fallen as well, reported the airline.
The only cost to passengers interested in taking advantage of this special offer is a cost of 1,030 yen to cover the taxes and the surcharges. A returning flight on this route usually ranges from 239-3,000 yuan, not including taxes or surcharges. According to a recently released report in the China Daily, there will be 50 reduced tickets available on the flights. These airlines can hold 180 passengers. When the tickets are purchased in Japan, they will cost only 1 yen.
Further expanding this offer, the free flight will also be available to another route from Shanghai and Kagawa, which is on the island of Shikoku.
The territorial dispute has led to a decrease in sales and flights for China Southern Airlines, causing many airline companies to cancel their flights to most of the destinations in Japan. This report was released by the Sinhua news agency, and travel may be low for months and even years to come.
In addition to cancelled flights, newer flight routes by other airlines which had been planned but not yet started, have also been either cancelled or in most cases, postponed. The China Eastern Airlines has announced that they are delaying the start of a planned new route and Juneyao Airlines is also postponing one of their planned flights between the two countries. While it may take some time, Spring Airlines is trying to encourage tourism and travel by offering an extremely low cost travel option to passengers to boost travel.