All Nippon Airways (ANA) continues to see strong passenger travel demand to and from Europe, overriding the impact that the ongoing Russian airspace closure has on its operations. 

Airline president Shinichi Inoue, speaking with FlightGlobal in Tokyo, says business travel demand from Japan to Europe “has been significant”, and Japan remains a popular travel destination for European travellers. 

all nippon airways (ANA) Boeing 787

Source: R R Aditya/

The Russian airspace closure – a result of the war between Russia and Ukraine – has had a “significant impact” on ANA’s operations, says Inoue. As a result of having to reroute European flights to avoid the airspace, operational costs are up between 10 and 15%, with the airline having to adjust crew resources as a result. 

Inoue says while European flights usually require three crew in the flight deck, the airline now has to allocate one more crew member because of longer flying hours. 

Still, strong travel demand to Japan has led ANA to focus on its European operations this year. The Star Alliance operator will be launching operations to Milan, Stockholm and Istanbul during the 2024 winter schedule - which begins in November. 

The Tokyo-based carrier is also increasing frequencies on flights from Tokyo’s Haneda airport to Munich and Paris, and is resuming flights to Vienna, which it had suspended during the pandemic.

Inoue says Istanbul will offer the airline a “gateway to Africa”, while Stockholm “will boost our access into Scandinavia”. The airline shelved plans to launch operations to these cities amid the pandemic, amid cutbacks on its European network.