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LLC Vanilla Air launches first flight

Kyodo

Vanilla Air, a reborn low-cost carrier under ANA Holdings Inc., on Friday began flights linking its base at Narita International Airport with Naha and Taipei.

The first flight left for Okinawa at around 7 a.m. with 166 passengers. Around 20 Vanilla Air employees saw off the flight.

The same plane was to make the airline’s first flight between Narita and Taipei later in the day after returning from Naha.

Launched in August last year as AirAsia Japan, a joint venture with Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd., the airline became a wholly owned unit of ANA Holdings due to differences over cost management before suspending service in October and changing its name on Nov. 1.

The airline plans to introduce flights from Narita to two more airports early next year — Sapporo from Jan. 29, and Seoul from March 1.