ANA eyes Asia growth
NICK TABAKOFF in Tokyo
Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) is looking to triple frequencies between Hong Kong and Tokyo after the opening of Chek Lap Kok airport, as part of a strategic refocus that will see it positioned more fully as an international carrier.
The airline is also keen to double the number of its services from Osaka to Hong Kong, pending the approval of authorities from both sides.
If both moves get the go-ahead, ANA's services to Hong Kong would increase to five a day from two now.
ANA has issued a warning on user charges at the new airport, ahead of discussions today and tomorrow between representatives of the Airport Authority and the International Air Transport Association.
ANA's senior managing director for corporate planning, Yoshiyuki Nakamachi, said the airline's plans were based on fees at the new airport not being 'prohibitive'.
Mr Nakamachi was speaking at the launch of an organisational refocus aimed at boosting the company's international operations and decreasing its reliance on domestic services.
ANA is the dominant carrier for domestic services in Japan, with more than 50 per cent of the market - but lags Japan Airlines (JAL) on international routes.
The deregulation of the domestic market, where there is increasingly cut-throat competition, was limiting growth prospects for ANA, Mr Nakamachi said.
The international refocus will see ANA aggressively chase frequency increases on Asian routes in particular.
Apart from Hong Kong, it hopes to sharply increase frequencies to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
The Greater China region is a dominant part of ANA's reorientation plans, although the airline may run into opposition from mainland aviation authorities.
ANA operates 16 services a week from Japan to Shanghai, a figure it would like to increase to 42.
It is also interested in flying to Chengdu and Chongqing, in Sichuan province.