Japan’s budget carrier Vanilla Air launches Tokyo-Saigon service

By VnExpress   September 17, 2016 | 12:36 am PT
Ho Chi Minh City is chosen as the starting point for its expansion plan in Southeast Asia. 

Japanese low-cost airline Vanilla Air marked its Vietnam entry on Thursday with a flight from Tokyo to Ho Chi Minh City.

The daily return service between Narita and Tan Son Nhat airports has a stop in Taipei.

Mio Yamamuro, deputy general director of Vanilla Air, said at a press conference that the carrier has witnessed a travel boom between Ho Chi Minh City and destinations in Taiwan and Japan. It has decided to use the city as a hub before expanding further in Southeast Asia.

Vanilla Air, a unit of ANA Holdings, now operates four flights from Tokyo to Taipei every day. It plans to start flying to Cebu in the Philippines by the end of the year and also eyes Singapore and Thailand as new markets.

Originally a joint venture between ANA and Malaysia’s AirAsia, Vanilla Air became a whole subsidiary of the Japanese group in 2013.

It was estimated to end the fiscal year 2015 with a profit of 1.5 billion yen ($13.15 million), compared to a loss of 3.7 billion yen ($32.44 million) in 2014, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

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