Business

Vanilla Air becomes first Japan budget carrier to sell monthly passes

Kyodo

Vanilla Air Inc. said Monday it will start selling monthly passes for its route linking Narita International Airport and Amami-Oshima Island in southwestern Japan, becoming the first Japanese budget airline to offer this kind of pricing.

The unit of ANA Holdings Inc. will start selling two types of passes Thursday, good for next January or February. One can be used every day, including weekends and holidays, priced at ¥40,000, while the other will be good only on weekdays, priced at ¥27,000.

The Vaniller’s Passes will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be only 20 available per month for unrestricted travel, and 30 for weekday travel only.

The lowest one-way fare for Vanilla’s flights from Narita to Amami-Oshima Island is ¥5,500.

The airline expects the pass will draw demand from people who frequently go surfing and scuba diving, as the water temperature around the island — located about 380 km south of Kyushu in the East China Sea — is relatively high at above 20 degrees on average even in winter.