JapanCommuter, the largest Japanese airline in terms of fleet size and second most prefered in terms of airline score, welcomes Sand Airways into the country. The regional airline is happy to see the number of airlines increasing in Japan. "It is a good thing for the Japanese people to choose between so many airlines. Competition will keep our team at sharp and we will continue to invest into our airline in our mission to serve the Japanese people. We wish Sand Airways good luck with their mission," the CEO said and added: "It is sad to that Sand Airlines from Newark fell a few month ago, but that's the risk of running airlines: we can build a successful airline in years, but we can lose them in a single day."
Tupolev and Sukhoi jetliners
While the CEO welcomed Sand Airways, a couple of journalists asked about the newly delivered Tupolev Tu-334 jetliner. CEO Tokeshima Kansai told the press that the Tupolev jetliners are not part of the JapanCommuter fleet. The planes will be leased out very cheap to other interested airlines by our leasing company JapanCreditBank. "We got a great deal from Tupolev to purchase five jetliners for a low price and we purchased the aircraft. We now are looking for customers for these great jetliners."
One journalist asked why JapanCommuter doesn't operate the Tupolev jetliners instead of leasing them to others. The CEO explained: "We are months away from receiving our very first Sukhoi Superjet. These jetliners will be used from out newest base, which will also be opened in 2010. In the near future, we want to standardize our fleet. One of the plans are to retire the Ilyushin Il-114 and Antonov An-140 turboprops. Also the Antonov An-148 jetliners will make space for more Sukhoi Superjets. While this is something for the future, we are considering these actions now. We are furthermore looking for a replacement aircraft for the Airbus A300-600R jetliners. By 2020, we want to operate a fleet with only three types, with a third type to fill the gap between the Sukhoi Superjet and the Airbus A300 replacement aircraft."