Thursday, October 2, 2014

Vanilla Air unveils new interior with latest Airbus A320.

On October 1st, Vanilla Air (JW/VNL) introduced its newest aircraft, Airbus A320-216(SL) JA04VA, on flight JW805, service from Tokyo/Narita (NRT/RJAA) to Okinawa/Naha (OKA/ROAH). The aircraft had only arrived at Narita from Toulouse (TLS/LFBO) on September 28th. This fourth new machine in the fleet boasts not only the fledgling carrier's full livery, but also an all-new interior.
Brand-new Airbus A320-216(SL) JA04VA parked at Narita. (Photo: Vanilla Air)

Currently, Vanilla Air operates six aircraft, of which three are secondhand examples leased from sister company All Nippon Airways (NH/ANA) and seat 166, retaining ANA's interior. And though the first three are brand-new and seat 180, as they were earmarked for their predecessor AirAsia Japan (Mk I) (JW/WAJ), they basically retain the AirAsia interior (CoachFlyer JW8541: NRT - FUK on AirAsia Japan's Airbus A320.) with just the titles covered. So the fourth airplane becomes the first aircraft tailored for Vanilla Air inside and out.

Seats and carpets boast a dark blue color to resemble the sea, with walls and overhead bins boasting yellow to represent the sun. Seat belts are in light blue. Designed by Italian aerospace firm Geven, the new slim seats will be taken up by all future deliveries starting from JA04VA. Their fifth factory-fresh example will arrive in October, with the sixth to be delivered in November, allowing Vanilla Air to retire the three aging 166-seat odd-ball airframes. Two more A320s are to be delivered in early 2015 for a total of eight by the end of fiscal year 2014, with another two to arrive in fiscal year 2015 for a total of 10.
JA04VA's all-new 180-seat interior was designed by Geven. (Photo: Vanilla Air)

Meanwhile, Vanilla Air reported that its August load factor for domestic routes was 92.1% and for international was 90.1%, giving it a system-wide average of 91.5%, which is a 12.3% improvement over the previous month. Yes, August is summer vacation peak month, however, the figures mean that Vanilla Air is starting to become known. During the period, two flights were canceled by a typhoon, keeping the in-service rate at 99.8%, and on-time arrival rate was 76.7%.

From its base at Narita, Vanilla Air serves Amami (ASJ/RJKA) (Vanilla Air launches Narita – Amami.), Naha, and Sapporo/New Chitose (CTS/RJCC) for domestic, and Seoul/Incheon (ICN/RKSI) and Taipei/Taoyuan (TPE/RCTP) for international. Hong Kong (HKG/VHHH) will be added on November 2nd, followed by Kaohsiung (KHH/RCKH) from February 1st, 2015 (Vanilla Air works out details for Hong Kong and Kaohsiung.). The wholly-owned subsidiary of ANA Holdings, parent of ANA, is also considering Guam, Macau, Saipan, and Taichung.

Reference: Aviation Wire, September 30th. (in Japanese)
Reference: Aviation Wire, October 1st. (in Japanese)

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