About access method to Yonaguni Island from outside the island
・ Ferry route (Fukuyama shipping)
Yonaguni Island ⇆ Ishigaki Island 4 hours 30 minutes / twice in a week
・Air route (Ryukyu Air Commuter)
Yonaguni Island ⇆ Naha The required time is 1.5 hours / 1 round trip a day
Yonaguni Island ⇆ Ishigaki Island The required time is half hours/ 3 round trip a day
Role of air transport
①Movement of residents
②Transport of tourists
①About the movement of residents
Yonaguni Island is a very small island with an area of 27.49 km circumference and an area of 28.95 square km, and most of the residents work on the island, but there are many people going to work outside the island, especially many people going to Ishigaki Island. As a measure for businessmen living in such remote islands, Japan Airlines set special discount fares called "remote island discounts" and devise measures to make it easier for residents to use aircraft. The importance of aircraft is not limited to businessmen. Actually, there are no high schools or universities in Yonaguni Island, so after graduation from junior high school residents will definitely be forced to enter Ishigaki Island and Okinawa main island. In other words, such a student may use until the middle school graduation ~ high school enrollment period. Aircraft tend to be expensive compared to ships, but they are useful because there are many merits such as the high frequency of operation and the ability to move in a short time.
②About the transport of tourists
Although the number of tourists visiting Yonaguni Island is few compared to other Okinawa remote islands, there are a certain number of tourists, especially in the summer season, and accordingly the demand for air mail is stable.
Also, though the proportion of people who used it for sightseeing for the entire customer was about half of the total, it is considered that airplane is more convenient for tourists than ships.
③ About freight transportation
Of course, transportation by a ship is also carried out for oil and gasoline that cannot be transported by aircraft, but aircraft are a very important means of transportation. It is necessary to limit transportation time things, such as fresh food.
Boarding record of Yonaguni Island departure and arrival route
I tried using Naha → Yonaguni, Yonaguni → Ishigaki at the Ryukyu Air Commuter (RAC). Air route from Yonaguni Island is only for these two routes, so I tried to compare the difference between equipment and customer base.
About the aircraft named DHC-8-Q 400CC
DHC-8-Q400CC is an aircraft used since 2016 for replacing DHC-8-Q100, -Q300 which had been active in RAC until then. It is a derivative type of DHC-8-Q400 currently used in JAC, while the length of the aircraft is the same, the Q400 type has 74 seats specifications, whereas in the Q400 series it is limited to 50 seats the same as Q300, and the cargo room behind the passenger compartment expand so that an airframe's capavity was increased. The part where the window is buried is the part of the newly added freight room, and it is the specification unique to Japan where there are many solitary island routes that keep guest room size 2/3 to give priority to cargo transportation. Actually, RAC is one of the Q400CC launch customers. RAC has had the problem of reducing the cargo capacity generated by the miniaturization of equipment for transferring routes from JTA in 2013. However, the introduction of Q400CC in 2016 markedly improved the freight transportation efficiency, and it became possible to secure sufficient transportation power Currently the aircraft operated by RAC is unified with this Q400CC and plays an important role in remote island routes.
|Cargo is piled from behind the aircraft||Most of the back of the emergency exit door is the cargo room|
RAC721 Naha → Yonaguni
Many people visited Yonaguni Island by sightseeing to this line user, and business use and islanders were not used much. Also, this line is only operated once a day. Besides that, the Naha flight is 7:15 departing very quickly and inconveniently. Therefore, it is difficult to use in business. Also when using it for sightseeing, the number of passengers does not increase as it is impossible to connect at the same day. As a result, there is no need to increase the frequency of operation. Air cargo flights flourish at Naha Airport. Therefore, the route between Naha and Yonaguni for transporting perishable food toward Yonagunijima has an important role. In fact, since only Naha Airport and Shin Ishigaki Airport are in service to Yonaguni airport,the returning to Naha Airport can be said to be the lifeline of freight transportation. Yonaguni Island belongs to the tropical rainforest climate (Af), clouds develop rapidly because the north is sandwiched between the East China Sea, the east to the Pacific Ocean, and the south to the Philippine Sea, so the weather is highly variable. It is a unique feature of this island. Canceling or conditional flight due to strong winds or bad weather frequently occurred (flights that could possibly turn back or change destination if landing is impossible), actually the flight of previous day my flight was returned to Naha due to the strong wind, and it was fine when I got on, but conditioned flight was operated. This route may be canceled even if it is not a typhoon season, and sometimes hitted of the freight transportation.
|The flight from Naha is very early||The cargo holds are expanded so there are few seats|
RAC 742 Yonaguni → Ishigaki
This line is operated three times round-trip a day. Most of the users are people who live in Yonaguni Island or Ishigaki Island, unlike the Naha line. Therefore, few people used it as a connecting to Naha. Between Yonaguni Island and Ishigaki Island, not only air services but also ferries are operated. However, the ferry operates two days a week, the required time is about 4 hours 30 minutes, the aircraft is more frequent in flight operation and expressability, so demand for aircraft is deeply rooted because it is also excellent. Ryukyu Air Commuter is offering at a reasonable price by establishing a special "remote island discount" system for islanders so that aircraft can be used more easily.
It was impressive that the number of tourists' visitors was very small, and the role as "life line" was strong. In order to secure the users stably, ｗe thought it important for the company to conduct community-based management. Because this example succeeded by cooperation of the airline side.