Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Vanilla Air announces Okinawa – Taipei.

On May 25th, Vanilla Air [JW/VNL] announced that it will commence Okinawa/Naha [OKA/ROAH] – Taipei/Taoyuan [TPE/RCTP] on September 14th. An additional Tokyo/Narita [NRT/RJAA] – Naha round-trip will also be added at the same time. All flights will be operated by 180-seat Airbus A320-200s. The LCC arm of ANA Holdings continues to add more destinations from Taipei, which is set to become their second hub and the first outside Japan.

Airbus A320-214(SL) JA03VA is one of two aircraft in Vanilla Air's fleet with a non-standard white livery. When the first AirAsia Japan (Mk I) was re-launched as Vanilla Air, they did not have enough time to fully paint the aircraft before they needed it. Their original three A320s still retain the basic AirAsia interior. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

Tickets went on sale on May 26th. One-way fares start from 4,590 JPY for a ticket with no baggage allowance (Simple Vanilla) and 6,590 JPY for an inclusive ticket with 20 kilograms of baggage allowance plus free seat selection (Komi-komi Vanilla).

Flight Schedule:
Naha – Taipei/Taoyuan NEW daily with A320-200.
JW189 OKA 2110 – 2145 TPE 32A/320 Mo/Tu/Th/Fr/Sa/Su *From Sep/15.
JW189 OKA 2035 – 2110 TPE 32A/320 We *From Sep/14.
JW180 TPE 0610 – 0845 OKA 32A/320 Daily *From Sep/15.

The aircraft for the outbound service will arrive from Narita into Naha flying the newly added flight, and then hop to Taipei, to turn around for their Osaka/Kansai [KIX/RJBB] link, which was only launched on April 27th (Vanilla Air adds Kansai – Taipei, plans SE Asia in 4Q2016.). The inbound leg will be part of the Kansai – Taipei – Naha – Narita routing.

Naha becomes Vanilla Air's third destination from Taipei, and it is part of their strategy to make the Taiwanese capital a scissors hub to connect Japan and Southeast Asia (Vanilla Air eyes China, Southeast Asia, and Okinawa hub.), which is similar to what part-sister Peach hopes to do at Naha (Peach launches Naha hub; but Naha – Ishigaki axed.). From Taipei, it currently flies to Narita four times daily, and plans are underway to add Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam using fifth freedom rights, as well as Sapporo/New Chitose [CTS/RJCC].

Bangkok/Don Mueang [DMK/VTBD] is likely to become their first destination in Southeast Asia, and Vanilla is reportedly in talks with fellow Value Alliance (Vanilla Air joins seven LCCs to form Value Alliance.) member Nok Airlines (d.b.a. Nok Air) [DD/NOK] for a stronger partnership.

Source: Vanilla Air, 2016 May 25th. (in Japanese)

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