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Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012

Spring Airlines offering ¥1 tickets to China as island dispute hurts ridership


SAGA — Chinese low-cost carrier Spring Airlines will sell one-way flights on its route linking Saga and Shanghai for only ¥1 from Wednesday to Dec. 17.

Round-trip flights connecting Saga to Shanghai run three times a week. The ¥1 fare applies to up to 50 seats per flight.

Spring Airlines set the low fare in response to falling passenger numbers amid the worsening relations between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands.

On top of the ¥1 airfare, fuel surcharges and other costs will total ¥7,080.

Spring Airlines launched regular twice-weekly charter flights on the Saga-Shanghai route in January. The service was popular, with occupancy exceeding 80 percent, but the rate dropped dramatically last month.

The ¥1 fare is designed to stop the bleeding, the airline's Saga branch chief said. The airline on Tuesday announced a similar fare for its service between Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, and Shanghai.

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