Vanilla Air

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Vanilla Air
Vanilla Air logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1 November 2013
Commenced operations 20 December 2013
Operating bases Narita International Airport
Fleet size 8
Destinations 6
Parent company All Nippon Airways
Headquarters Narita International Airport, Narita, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
Key people Tomonori Ishii (President)
Employees 469 (June 1, 2014)

Vanilla Air Inc. (バニラ・エア株式会社 Banira Ea Kabushiki Kaisha?) is a low-cost airline in Japan wholly owned by All Nippon Airways. Its head office is within Terminal 2 of Narita International Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture.[1]


A Vanilla Air Airbus A320 Sharklet taken in flight. (2014)
A Vanilla Air Airbus A320 taxiing at New Chitose Airport, Japan. (2014)

In June 2013, AirAsia decided to exit its investment in AirAsia Japan, making the company a wholly owned subsidiary of ANA.[2] AirAsia Japan announced in August that it would continue operation under its current branding through 26 October 2013 and would then be rebranded as Vanilla Air effective 1 November 2013; Vanilla Air would start operations with two aircraft and expand to ten aircraft by fiscal year 2015, with both domestic and international routes.[3] All of AirAsia Japan's staff were to be inherited by Vanilla Air, and the airline would focus on serving resort destinations, eventually expanding to longer routes after an initial focus on short-haul routes.[4]

AirAsia Japan aircraft were to be returned to AirAsia, with Vanilla Air retaining only two aircraft at the outset. Although Vanilla Air was to continue operating from AirAsia Japan's principal base at Narita International Airport, the fleet reduction forced the abandonment of the AirAsia Japan hub at Chubu Centrair International Airport. However, Vanilla Air management stated that Chubu was the strongest candidate for a second hub.[5]

At the end of July, prior to the rebranding announcement, the Nikkei reported that the restructured AirAsia Japan operation would focus on the popular resort markets of Sapporo, Okinawa, Honolulu, Guam and Saipan;[6] a later report stated that 70% of its capacity would be international, making better use of slot restrictions at Narita Airport by operating outbound flights late at night and return flights early in the morning.[7] The expansion to 10 aircraft was intended to make the airline more competitive with Jetstar Japan, a Narita-based low-cost carrier partly owned by Japan Airlines.[8]

Vanilla Air operated its first flights from Narita to Okinawa and Taipei on 20 December 2013.[9]

Vanilla Air introduced the "Vaniller's Pass," a one-month pass good for travel on its Tokyo-Amami route, in December 2014. Although aimed at surfing and diving enthusiasts in the Tokyo region, passengers used the passes for other purposes such as caring for family members.[10]


A Vanilla Air Airbus A320. (2014)

Vanilla Air serves the following destinations (as of September 2014):[11][12]

[Base] Base
[F] Future destination
City Country IATA ICAO Airport
Tokyo Japan NRT RJAA Narita International Airport [Base]
Amami Japan ASJ RJKA Amami Airport
Okinawa Japan OKA ROAH Naha Airport
Sapporo Japan CTS RJCC New Chitose Airport
Taipei Taiwan TPE RCTP Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
Hong Kong Hong Kong HKG VHHH Hong Kong International Airport
Kaohsiung Taiwan KHH RCKH Kaohsiung International Airport

Vanilla Air stated in February 2015 that they would suspend Seoul service from March, and were not considering any further route expansion.[10] Prior to this announcement, Vanilla Air announced future service to Guam and Saipan at an unspecified date and in the longer term planned to offer long-haul service to Indonesia.[13]


Vanilla Air took delivery of its first A320 aircraft, JA01VA, on 14 November 2013. Its aircraft are equipped with CFM56 engines and are leased from AWAS to ANA Holdings.[14]

Aircraft In Fleet Passengers
Airbus A320-200 8 180[15]


  1. ^ "Corporate Profile." (Archive) Vanilla Air. Retrieved on 19 January 2014. "Headquarters Narita International Airport 2PTB, Chiba, JAPAN" - Address in Japanese (Archive): "成田国際空港 第2旅客ターミナル内" (Narita International Airport, inside Passenger Terminal 2)
  2. ^ "ANA、LCCを一本化 エアアジアとの合弁解消へ". 日本経済新聞. June 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ "LCC新社名「バニラ・エア」に エアアジア・ジャパン". 日本経済新聞. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "AirAsia Japan rebranded 'Vanilla Air'". Agence-France Presse. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "第2の拠点空港「中部を最優先」 LCCのバニラ・エア社長". 日本経済新聞. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "ANA、格安航空で攻勢 ハワイや台湾に観光路線". 日本経済新聞. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "新LCCバニラ・エア、国際観光路線で巻き返し 2機体制の増強課題". 日本経済新聞. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "ANA系LCCバニラ・エア、「3年内に単年度黒字に」". 日本経済新聞. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "ANA系格安航空、バニラ・エア就航 社名一新し再起". 日本経済新聞. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Kohase, Yusuke (2 February 2015). "バニラエア、ソウル線3月運休へ 新路線「現時点で計画なし」". Aviation Wire. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  11. ^ "Vanilla Air to give owner ANA a presence in abandoned markets while offering a hybrid model". CAPA Centre for Aviation. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Vanilla Air Timetable
  13. ^ Yoshikawa, Tadayuki (7 August 2014). "バニラエア、11月から香港、15年2月に高雄就航へ". Aviation Wire. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  14. ^ Yoshikawa, Tadayuki (14 November 2013). "バニラ・エア、白装束のA320初号機が成田到着". Aviation Wire. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  15. ^

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