Wednesday, June 25, 2014

ANA Mileage Club offers redemption on Vanilla Air.

Starting July 5th, All Nippon Airways (NH/ANA) will allow members of their frequent-flyer program ANA Mileage Club (AMC) to redeem miles on Vanilla Air (JW/VNL). Application for award tickets will be available from July 1st until up to four days prior to the departure date. The Tokyo/Narita (NRT/RJAA)-based LCC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ANA Holdings, parent of ANA.
Airbus A320-211 JA8385 taxies for departure at Sapporo's New Chitose. As one of three secondhand examples transferred from ANA, it is in a hybrid scheme with ANA's gray belly. It will be retired in November after Vanilla Air's own new additional A320s have arrived. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

All of Vanilla Air's routes are covered in the partnership, including Narita – Amami (ASJ/RJKA), which will be launched on July 1st (Vanilla Air announces Amami Oshima.) and will become the first all-new route after molting from defunct AirAsia Japan (Mk I) (JW/WAJ) (Vanilla Air launches operations.). One-way award tickets will be offered for domestic routes, while international will only have round-trip redemption available and also only from Narita and not from an overseas destination.

AMC will offer Vanilla Air award tickets at lower miles compared to ANA; a round-trip award fare from Tokyo to Sapporo starts from 15,000 miles on ANA but 10,000 on Vanilla Air. A round-trip to Seoul starts from 15,000 miles for both airlines, however, at ANA the passenger would need to pay for fuel surcharge. For booking, AMC members need to call the Vanilla Air reservations center, which is open from 10AM to 4PM JST.

From its Narita hub, the fledgling LCC currently serves Okinawa/Naha (OKA/ROAH), Sapporo/New Chitose (CTS/RJCC), Seoul/Incheon (ICN/RKSI), and Taipei/Taoyuan (TPE/RCTP) with a fleet of six Airbus A320s. The deal helps Vanilla Air fill its seats and receive a stable income from sister ANA, but is also a sign of their continued struggle to make their business case work, as frequent-flyer partnerships had been ruled out before. With the new agreement, AMC will boast 34 airline partners including its fellow Star Alliance members.

Reference: All Nippon Airways, June 24th. (in Japanese)
Reference: Aviation Wire, June 24th. (in Japanese)

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