Vanilla Air Plans Low-Cost Flights to Cebu

Vanilla Air is planning on entering the Philippine market in the future with flights to Cebu as the Japanese budget carrier expands its reach deeper into Southeast Asia. The airline, which is owned entirely by All Nippon Airways through ANA Holdings, is targeting destinations in the region that are currently not served by its parent company. 

vanilla air cebu
Image Source: Nikkei Asian Review
The Japanese budget carrier was originally established as AirAsia Japan, a joint venture between Malaysia based AirAsia and ANA of Japan. However, the two companies decided to terminate their partnership in 2013 after less than a year of operation, citing differences in corporate culture. Following the dissolution of the partnership, the carrier became 100 percent owned by ANA and began operating as its low-cost subsidiary.

Based out of Tokyo's Narita Airport, Vanilla Air now operates with eight 180-seat Airbus A320 aircraft on three Japanese domestic routes and two international routes to Taiwan and Hong Kong. But given the intense competition in the Japanese market, particularly from Tokyo's Narita Airport, the budget carrier is planning to expand its reach in Asia from a new hub in Taipei, which currently lacks low-cost carriers

Until the launch of Tigerair Taiwan in 2014, Taiwan was the last of the twelve largest aviation markets in Asia without a local low-cost carrier. Vanilla Air now plans to turn Taipei into its secondary hub beginning in October of this year. Although official plans have yet to be released, it is rumoured that the company is initially eyeing flights to Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore.

Vanilla Air will launch flights from Taiwan using "beyond rights", which enable the carrier to offer flights between a second and third country, as long as it is operated by an aircraft that carried passengers from its home base in Japan to the second country, which in this case is Taiwan.

After Vanilla Air establishes its presence in Taiwan with its initial destinations, it is believed that the carrier will target destinations that are currently not served by the ANA Group. These destinations include Guam, Saipan, and Cebu. But it remains unclear whether the carrier will offer flights to Cebu from Japan or Taiwan. 

Vanilla Air is planning to triple its fleet to 25 aircraft by 2020. It does not currently serve any destinations in the Philippines. However, its parent airline, ANA, operates two-daily flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila to Tokyo.

References: Nikkei Asian Review


  1. We now have low-cost Jin Air owned by KE from Seoul starting to make waves in our country, recently sipping passengers to Korea and other Asian cities where KE flies and of course, Honolulu, where many Ilocanos and Pinoys call it home or work. There are oher 3 more low-cost air carriers from Korea to RP, and that's good and bad because PAL will continue to have competitors to Hawaii and mainland USA. Now comes Vanilla Air from Japan owned by All Nippon Airways, a top-seeded member of Star Alliance! Welcome to the Philippines and welcome another competitor for PAL and Cebu Pacific for the USA, Asia and Europe routes.

    1. More airlines means lower and competitive fares. The bad thing is that no other low-cost RP carriers are welcome in Korea, Japan, China, etc. Why? Those countries' populations prefer to patronize their own airlines.


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