The Japanese aviation market is one of the least deregulated in an advanced western industrial country. It’s also one of the strangest.
Japan has the highest use of wide body types on domestic routes by a huge margin – twice the level of China. Much of this is caused by the country’s geography; multiple islands, mountains, few railways.
Skymark pioneered low cost domestic travel but over- stretched itself. It also didn’t expect the majors who dominate the country’s air travel to do anything about it.
ANA did – setting up Peach and Vanilla in such a way that Japanese passengers remained, for the most part, blissfully unaware who owned them.
With the demise of Skymark and its effective castration by ANA – competition died down. Having two competing but ANA owned airlines on top of Skymark and its own domestic operations, clearly seems a little excessive.
The end of Vanilla and its merger with Peach, while not yet fully agreed, seems inevitable, operating two brands isn’t not cost effective or even necessary now.
Once again the stultifying and ossified Japanese domestic aviation market returns to its status quo.