Budget airline AirAsia Japan changed its brand and is now known as Vanilla Air, with the carrier’s president saying that vanilla is “loved by everyone in the world”.
It took around one month and a half for the company’s officials to choose the new name, as the executives had to choose from over 200 different names.
“We chose vanilla as our brand name because it is popular and loved by everyone in the world,” the airline’s president Tomonori Ishii said. “I think it is a very cute name,” he added, despite the fact that in the West vanilla is regarded as “boring” or “bland”, according to the international media.
The decision of rebranding came after the break-up of a joint venture between the airline’s parent companies, Malaysia-based AirAsia and Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), which now wholly owns the carrier.
Vanilla Air will remain based at Narita airport and will start flights at the end of this year with two passenger planes. The company is targeting mainly customers who are interested to travel to resort destinations.
“We will begin with short-distance services but want to expand the range to mid- and long-distances in line with ANA’s branding strategy,” Ishii said, adding that it would also increase the number of airplanes to 10 in 2015.
All of AirAsia Japan’s 420 staff will now become employees of Vanilla Air.