ANA eyes new international routes as part of growth plan

Singapore
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Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) plans to launch several new international and domestic services in its next financial year despite the slow recovery of the country's airline market from the economic downturn.

"Factors such as anticipated capacity increase at Tokyo's Haneda and Narita airports, the scheduled delivery of [the] Boeing 787, as well as [the] open skies [pact] between the Japan and the United States agreed in December 2009, will bring important business opportunities for ANA to expand," says the Star Alliance member.

As part of its group corporate plan for the year beginning 1 April 2010, ANA plans to start two new international routes. These are a daily Tokyo Narita-Munich service using Boeing 777-300ERs from 1 July, and twice-daily Tokyo Haneda-Taipei Songshan from 31 October using 767-300ERs.

It will also increase flight frequencies on seven existing services from Narita and Haneda from 28 March and 31 October respectively, it adds. The service that will get the biggest boost is Tokyo Haneda-Seoul Gimpo, which will increase to 21 times weekly from 14 weekly.

ANA will suspend two routes, Osaka Kansai-Seoul Gimpo and Osaka Kansai-Xiamen, from 28 March. It will reduce the frequency of flights on the Osaka Kansai-Qingdao route from daily to four times weekly from 28 March as well.

The carrier is also adjusting the frequency on a slew of domestic services from 1 April. It also plans to consolidate the five services that operate out of various airports in Hokkaido to the newly built New Chitose airport in the island.

The airline, the Boeing 787's launch customer, will receive its first 787-8 during the October-December quarter, with another seven to be delivered by the end of the fiscal year, says ANA. During the year, it will also receive four Boeing 777-300ERs, five 767-300ERs, two 767-300BCF, five 767-800s and one Bombardier Q400 turboprop.

ANA will retire three Boeing 747-400s, two 767-300ERs, one Airbus A320-200 and one Boeing 737-500 in the year.

In terms of capacity, domestic ASKs will fall 3.7% from the previous fiscal year, while international capacity will increase 11.2%. Cargo capacity will rise 21.1%, says the airline.