New Airline Alert: Welcome Vanilla Air to the Asia Budget Airspace
It hasn't even been two years yet since Japan saw its first low-cost airline plying the skies, for it was November 2011 that premium carrier ANA launched their budget offshoot, Peach.
Peach may have been the first, but they sure weren't the last LCC to make a base in Japan, as Kuala Lumpur-headquartered Air Asia threw their hat into the ring with a joint venture with ANA, named Air Asia Japan. Now, in a fun twist in the always dynamic airline industry, Air Asia Japan will flip over to complete ANA control and be renamed and rebranded as Vanilla Air.
Why that name, in particular? According to the airline's president Tomonori Ishii, "Vanilla Air" was chosen because vanilla "...is popular and loved by everyone in the world" and "it is a very cute name." So too is the name "Peach," but thus far there are no plans to merge Vanilla and Peach, now both budget carriers under the wings of ANA.
Vanilla will begin flying this November, starting with two aircraft leased from ANA and operating on leisure routes in Asia out of Tokyo-Narita. At least this leaves some breathing room for Peach to continue growing, as Peach flies from Osaka-Kansai Airport to destinations both leisure and business, such as the island of Okinawa and the metropolis of Seoul, South Korea.
As soon as there is an airplane to show off and some airfares to book, we'll let you know more on Vanilla Air.
[Photo: Vanilla Air on Facebook]