Japanese budget carrier Vanilla Air jets out of Vietnam

By Ngan Anh   March 26, 2018 | 09:05 pm PT
Fierce competition has forced Vanilla out after just 18 months.

Japanese budget carrier Vanilla Air has announced it will be grounding its operations in Vietnam from March 25 after just a year and a half.

The announcement was made only three days after Vanilla Air and Peach Aviation, two low-cost carriers owned by ANA Holdings, declared plans to merge by the end of fiscal 2019.

Vanilla Air has operated flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Taipei and from Ho Chi Minh City to Tokyo since September 2016.

The Japanese airline has faced fierce competition from rivals Vietnam Airlines, low-cost carrier Vietjet Air, China Airlines, EVA Air and Uni Airways, which also offer flights on the same routes.

Vietnam served more than 94 million air passengers in 2017, a 16 percent on-year increase, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).

A source from the CAAV said the country’s aviation market has seen outstanding growth. The number of passengers surged 17 times from two decades ago to an all-time high last year, which included 13 million foreign passengers.

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