A budget carrier operated by All Nippon Airways (ANA) has been renamed Vanilla Air.

Executives chose the name from more than 200 other options, taking six weeks to come to a decision.

“We chose vanilla as our brand name because it is popular and loved by everyone in the world,” the airline’s president Tomonori Ishii told reporters in Tokyo. “I think it is a very cute name.”

The airline, initially a joint venture between ANA and the Malaysia-based AirAsia, was previously called AirAsia Japan. A name change was needed as ANA now wholly owns the carrier.

Vanilla Air will begin flights in late December with a fleet of two aircraft, to be leased from ANA, and will target travellers heading for holiday resort destinations in Asia.  The aim is to increase the number of aircraft to 10 by 2015.

The carrier will be based at Tokyo’s Narita Airport, like its predecessor.

“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,” said Ishii.