Vanilla Air to Start Flights from Ishigaki to Naha and Tokyo Narita, and to Axe Narita – Osaka Kansai

Today, Narita-based low-cost carrier Vanilla Air announced that it would start flying between the island of Ishigaki in Okinawa and Tokyo Narita, as well as the prefectural capital Naha in July 2018.

Separately, it also announced that it will be cutting its Tokyo Narita – Osaka Kansai route later in the year, in June.

Vanilla Air to Start Flights from Ishigaki to Naha and Tokyo Narita, and to Axe Narita - Osaka Kansai

Ishigaki Airport

Photo kindly provided by YK – Aviation Images.

Vanilla Air’s Flights to Ishigaki from Tokyo Narita and Naha

As mentioned above, Vanilla Air will start two new routes, Tokyo Narita – Ishigaki and Naha – Ishigaki, this summer. Both of the flights will start operations on July 1, 2018, with the flight from Narita operating once a day and flight from Naha twice a day.

The flights will be operated by Airbus A320-200, the sole aircraft type in Vanilla Air’s fleet with the schedule outlined below.

The longer of the two routes, between Tokyo Narita and Ishigaki, will operate as follows:

Daily

  • JW811 from Tokyo Narita to Ishigaki: depart at 10:00AM and arrive at 1:40PM
  • JW812 from Ishigaki to Tokyo Narita: depart at 2:40PM and arrive at 5:40AM

As for the inter-island route between Naha and Ishigaki, the first flight of the day will operate with the same schedule every day:

Daily

  • JW881 from Naha to Ishigaki: depart at 10:05AM and arrive at 11:10AM
  • JW882 from Ishigaki to Naha: depart at 11:50AM and arrive at 12:50PM

The evening rotation’s schedule will vary slightly depending on the day of the week. And, it will be as follows:

Monday, Friday & Saturday

  • JW887 from Naha to Ishigaki: depart at 5:55PM and arrive at 7:00PM
  • JW888 from Ishigaki to Naha: depart at 7:40PM and arrive at 8:40PM

Tuesday & Thursday

  • JW887 from Naha to Ishigaki: depart at 5:35PM and arrive at 6:40PM
  • JW888 from Ishigaki to Naha: depart at 7:20PM and arrive at 8:20PM

Wednesday

  • JW887 from Naha to Ishigaki: depart at 6:15PM and arrive at 7:20PM
  • JW888 from Ishigaki to Naha: depart at 8:00PM and arrive at 9:00PM

Sunday

  • JW887 from Naha to Ishigaki: depart at 5:45PM and arrive at 6:50PM
  • JW888 from Ishigaki to Naha: depart at 7:30PM and arrive at 8:30PM

Both of the routes will open for booking tomorrow, and the fares will start at 7,480 yen (70 dollars) for Tokyo Narita – Ishigaki and 3,780 yen (35 dollars) for Naha – Ishigaki.

Vanilla Air will be the first airline to connect Narita airport with Ishigaki. However, it will not be the first one to connect Tokyo with the island as both ANA and JAL’s subsidiary Japan Transocean Air operate flights between Haneda and Ishigaki.

ANA Vanilla Air Tokyo Ishigaki

On the inter-island route between Naha and Ishigaki, the airline will compete with ANA Wings, Japan Transocean Air, Ryukyu Air Commuter, and Solaseed Air.

ANA Wings Ishigaki Naha

Photo kindly provided by YK – Aviation Images.

Vanilla Air’s Flights Between Tokyo Narita and Osaka Kansai to Be Axed

While the above is a great news for travelers as it will make the paradise island of Ishigaki more easily and cheaply accessible, the other news from Vanilla Air today is not as positive as it relates to a route cancellation.

The airline currently operates two daily rotations between Tokyo Narita and Osaka Kansai, however, it plans to cancel those flights. As per today’s announcement, the last two rotations will operate on June 15, 2018.

Vanilla Air Cancels Osaka Tokyo Route

Luckily, even with Vanilla Air withdrawing from the route, there will still be plenty of low cost flights between the two airports, as both Jetstar Japan (4 times a day) and Peach (3 times a day) operate the route.

Peach A320

As such, the two announcements from Vanilla Air today represent a positive development, and I hope to be able to try the route to Ishigaki sometime soon, as the airport offers some great spotting opportunities!

 

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