Japanese carrier Vanilla Air is pushing for approval to boost frequencies on its route between Tokyo Narita and Taipei Taoyuan to meet with the strong demand on the route, one of two international services currently operated by the All Nippon Airways (ANA) low-cost offshoot.
The airline, formed on November 1, 2013 as the successor to AirAsia Japan when the two major shareholders in the budget carrier – ANA and AirAsia – chose to go their separate ways last year, currently operates just two Airbus A320s but has plans to significantly expand to eight aircraft by the end of the 2014 fiscal year and ten by the end of 2015.
From its base at Tokyo’s Narita Airport, Vanilla Air currently offers domestic flights to Okinawa and Sapporo and international links to Seoul Incheon and Taipei Taoyuan. This week it has introduced a fourth daily rotation on the Tokyo – Okinawa route and doubled frequencies from the Japanese capital to Incheon from two daily to four daily.
According to Nobuhiro Murooka, part of the airline’s network planning group within its Planning Department, similar growth is planned for the Taipei link. “Our Taipei load factor is very good,” he told The HUB Daily on the sidelines of this year’s Routes Asia forum in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. “We will try to increase our frequencies,” he added, to meet the strong demand for inbound visitors from Taiwan.
With additional A320 aircraft arriving, Vanilla Air is now looking to grow its international network further, especially into the developing South East Asian market. “We expect to see a growth in demand from Japanese travellers. We hope these customers will use our airline,” added Murooka.
You can watch our exclusive video interview with Nobuhiro Murooka at Routes Asia, below: