ANA dismissive of A380 for domestic use

Tokyo
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Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has confirmed it is considering whether to order Boeing’s proposed 7E7 but is rather dismissive of AirbusA380.

ANA currently operates large aircraft on some Japanese domestic routes including the more than 550-seat 747-400D, which Boeing developed specifically for the Japanese domestic market.

When asked whether ANA could use A380s for this purpose, vice president corporate planning Keisuke Okada said: “The big question is will the customer be happy.”

He added at a press conference in Tokyo organised by the Star Alliance that because of the high capacity of the 747-400Ds “we have a lot of people waiting in the airport lounge and this boarding time is crazy stress”.

“Baggage handling and passenger handling can be chaos,” he says.

Airbus says the A380 in a typical configuration can seat up to 555 passengers, and has proposed that the aircraft be used on Japanese domestic routes with many more seats.

Okada says ANA may not have to operate such large aircraft on domestic routes in future as the Government is looking at expanding Tokyo’s congested Haneda airport with a fourth runway around the end of this decade, which will make many new slots available.

“If that happens we don’t have to go with big aircraft,” he says.

While Okada downplays the A380’s prospects in Japan, he is relatively upbeat about Boeing’s proposed 200-250-seat 7E7 even though the aircraft is years away from being manufactured.

“That 7E7 is a good aircraft so we are making close communication with the manufacturer,” says Okada.

“We need to make some strategic decision very soon.”