20-Aug-2013 1:32 PM

All Nippon Airways' rebranded LCC, Vanilla Air, to comence in Nov-2013; services from Dec-2013

All Nippon Airways, at a press conference, provided (20-Aug-2013) initial details on the new name and structure for AirAsia Japan, the JV between ANA and AirAsia which is being dissolved. Details include:

  • Brand name: Vanilla Air, with Vanilla Air Inc as the company name;
  • Brand launch: The new brand will commence on 01-Nov-2013;
  • Service launch: Air Vanilla plans to start ticket sales in early Nov-2013 with services to commence in late Dec-2013;
  • Ownership: The new airline is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ANA Holdings;
  • Executive appointment: Tomonori Ishii, an ANA veteran, has been named president;
  • Network: The new LCC will connect Tokyo (Narita) and domestic and international resort destinations. Destination details and flight frequencies will be announced in late-Sep-2013 but domestic points are likely to include Sapporo and Okinawa. The carrier commented: “We will begin with short-distance services but want to expand the range to mid- and long-distances in line with ANA’s branding strategy. International destinations will eventually include points in Taiwan, South Korea, Guam and Saipan. The carrier said it would expand internationally more aggressively than previously, with Mr Ishii stating: "We need to start creating new market segments. This won't succeed if we rely on existing (markets";
  • Fleet: The airline will initially use sub-leased A320s. Mr Ishii acknowledged that AirAsia Japan has been much slower to add aircraft and expand routes compared with rivals such as Peach Aviation and Jetstar Japannoting that the new carrier will increase its fleet to five aircraft by the end of 2013 and to 10 by 2014;
  • Employees: Mr Ishii said he hopes the 420 current employees of AirAsia Japan would continue with Vanilla Air. He said he is currently seeking proposals from workers on how to shorten the turnaround time and is seeking other suggestions from staff;
  • Branding: Mr Ishii said: “We chose vanilla as our brand name because it is popular and loved by everyone in the world. I think it is a very cute name.” He continued, "The simple and sophisticated flavour of vanilla is popular among people worldwide. Besides, the aroma makes people relaxed and satisfied". The blue and yellow design of Vanilla Air's logo is inspired by a vanilla flower, with yellow petals opening up to symbolise the connection of the airline's routes with the world. 'Vanilla Air' is written in sea blue;
  • Target market: Where AirAsia Japan focussed on young people, Vanilla will increasing aim at families, couples, retirees and groups, Mr Ishii said;
  • Competition with Peach: Mr Ishii said Vanilla Air will work to avoid competition with Peach Aviation, ANA's other LCC. [more - original PR

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