ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS (ANA) has announced major new aircraft purchases, order deferrals and cancellations, resulting from a review of its fleet requirement up to 2000 and beyond

The changes cover the purchase of 18 new Airbus A321s and A320s and Boeing 767s and 777s, offset by the delivery deferral of five A340s and the cancellation of four 747-400s on order.

Under an agreement reached earlier this year with Airbus Industrie, ANA has placed a ´64.5 billion ($649 million) order for ten A321-100s, with options for a further eight, in return for delaying delivery of five A340-300s "until at least the year 2000", (Flight International, 25-31 January).

The ten 200-seat A321s will enter service with the carrier between March 1998 and February 2001. The five deferred A340s, ordered in 1990, had been scheduled originally for delivery between 1996 and 2000. The carrier holds options on a further five A340s.

A decision on the choice of engine for the A321 is expected to be made in 1996. Under consideration are the International Aero Engine V2500-A5 and the General Electric/Snecma CFM56-5B.

In addition to the A321 purchase, ANA has ordered two more A320s, increasing its total planned fleet to 22 aircraft. Airbus has already delivered 17 of the 20 CFM56-5-A1-powered A320s previously ordered by the airline.

The carrier has also converted to firm orders options which it holds on three Boeing 777s and three 767-300s, collectively valued at nearly $600 million. The six new purchases are in exchange for ANA halving its outstanding Boeing 747-400 order from eight to four aircraft.

Its revised fleet plan now calls for a total of 42 767-300s, 20 747-400s and 18 Pratt & Whitney PW4000-powered 777s. Boeing has already delivered 36 767-300s and 16 747-400s to ANA.

There has been no change in the overall value of aircraft on order up to 2000, says ANA. Ten new aircraft are due for delivery in fiscal year 1995/6, starting in April, consisting of its first three 777s, two 747-400s, a single 767-300 and four A320s.

ANA blames growing congestion at Tokyo's Narita Airport, particularly the failure to add a second runway, as the main reason for cutting orders for widebodies.

ANA's original long-haul fleet requirements "...assumed the completion of the second runway. As this has not happened, we feel the need to concentrate more on our operations to short-haul destinations from the new Kansai Airport, in Osaka."

Japan's financially troubled airline industry also faces stiff competition on international routes from US and other Asian airlines.

Source: Flight International