ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS (ANA) has reached an agreement with Airbus Industrie to order ten A321s and defer delivery of five A340-300s to at least the year 2000.

The Japanese carrier expects to announce shortly the results of a sweeping review of the airline's future fleet requirements. The review forms part of its next mid-term business plan for 1995-7, starting in April.

ANA's revised fleet plan calls for the purchase of ten 169-seat A321s between March 1998 and February 2001, with the option to order additional A320s. The airline already operates 15 A320s and has a further five on order.

A competition will be held to decide the choice of engine for the A321. ANA is understood to favour the General Electric/Snecma CFM56-5B as the -5-A1 version is already in service on its A320s.

The airline, however, is under pressure from the Japanese Government to select the International Aero Engines V2500-A5 powerplant. It is keen to promote the V2500, having funded the Japanese Aero Engines consortium's 23% share of development expenditure.

In return for the A321 order, Airbus has agreed to delay the delivery of ANA's first A340 to the year 2000. The five A340s were ordered in 1990 and scheduled originally for delivery from late 1996 onwards. ANA holds options on a further five A340s.

The European consortium denies suggestions that ANA's long-term intention is to cancel its A340 order. "Airbus has an order for five A340s and that commitment is unchanged," it says.

The airline is simultaneously considering delaying delivery of 15 Pratt & Whitney PW4000-powered A-market Boeing 777s it has on order, the first of which is due to enter service in October (Flight International, 7-13 December, 1994). Boeing is understood to be pressing ANA to convert some of the aircraft on order to B-market 777s instead.

Other outstanding orders affected by the airline's fleet review include one for eight additional Boeing 747-400s due for delivery by 1997. ANA is understood to want to limit the size of its -400 fleet to 20 aircraft, of which 16 are already in service, and push back delivery of the remaining aircraft.

Source: Flight International