ANA Plans to Start Flights From Myanmar in 2018 With Venture

A Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner aircraft, bottom, and a Boeing 737-800 aircraft both operated by All Nippon Airways Co. (ANA) taxi at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

All Nippon Airways is planning to be back to Myanmar with a new joint venture in a local airline, which will become a new international carrier. Report by Bloomberg.

ANA Holdings Inc. has invested in a new airline venture in Myanmar that aims to start international flights in 2018 as the Japanese carrier seeks to capture demand in Asia’s fastest-growing economy.

ANA has a 49 percent stake and a local company holds the remainder, Shinya Katanozaka, chief executive officer of Japan’s largest airline, said in an interview in Tokyo Monday. The companies made a combined initial investment of $150,000 in the venture, he said.

“Myanmar’s economic power is growing,” said Katanozaka. “We want to help contribute to the boom in business and overseas holiday travel from the new middle class.”

ANA, which bought a stake of 8.8 percent in Vietnam Airlines Corp. this year. It is also considering adding flights across the globe, Katanozaka said. The carrier added recently a daily frequency between Tokyo and Phnom Penh in September – the first-ever direct non -stop scheduled flight between Cambodia and Japan- and will start a service to Mexico City next year. In Myanmar, All Nippon Airways is the only carrier offering a non-stop frequency from Yangon to Tokyo.

ANA increased total seats’ capacity from Japan to Southeast Asia by over 50% since 2011, serving eight destinations. Competition would however soon come again from Japan Airlines. From April 2017, a ban on business expansion of the carrier is expected to be lifted, a rule put in place after JAL bankruptcy’s restructuring process. This definitely gave an advantage to ANA.

While JAL was able to invest in Jetstar Japan, it has not been able to open other routes. JAL could look for a cooperation with AirAsia to expand in Southeast Asia.

(Source: Bloomberg)