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The ongoing delivery of Boeing 787
Dreamliners to Japan's All Nippon Airways
(ANA) marks some noteworthy changes
both for the carrier and Japan, as well as
the broader aviation industry in Asia.
ANA has seven of the aircraft at the moment, the
first of a 55-unit order. According to Boeing's delivery
schedule, about 20 of these planes will be with ANA
by the end of March 2013, with that number rising
to 27 by the end of March 2014.
Underscoring the significance of the order is the
way the aircraft are configured, with 323 economy
seats and 12 premium seats for a maximum 335
passengers -- about 24% more than the 270-seat
767 twinjet fleet it is replacing. The 787 also offers a
50% increase in cargo capacity.
"Because we needed the replacement of [the]
767 to match our strategy, ANA decided to be
the launch customer of [the] B787," explained a
spokesman for ANA.
The 787 strategy, though, is not merely about
replacing the 767, necessary though that is. It is
more about moving towards ANA's strategic goal
to positioning itself as Asia's number one carrier
in a volatile economic environment where low-cost
carriers are an increasing challenge.
That goal is to be reached by establishing a
strengthened network, focusing especially on long-
haul and connectivity -- and doing so efficiently. The
787 is the ideal tool for this, as it's a mid-sized aircraft
that can fly long distances while burning substantially
less fuel than other available types.
The gain in fuel-efficiency "would be 20%, and we
expect [the] cost reduction in terms of fuel would be
10 billion yen (US$125 million) with fifty-five 787s,"
the ANA spokesman said.
Helpful though that is, the real benefit comes with
the overseas destinations and markets the plane
allows the carrier to access. "In the future, ANA has
a plan to expand our international routes such as
Narita-Seattle and Narita-San Jose by using 787s.
We are also planning further new destinations," the
carrier told Asian Aviation.
The aircraft "can serve new international routes,
where existing jumbo jets are too big to be filled
up. And it would be also possible to [increase
the] frequency of existing routes, like [making]
one daily flight into double-daily flights," the airline
said. "Therefore we are planning to add further
destinations after Seattle and San Jose. The priority
will be hub airports where we have a partner." ANA
is a member of the Star Alliance group of airlines.
Seattle is ANA's ninth destination in the US and
flights will begin on July 25, albeit not with a 787
but a 777-300ER, which will be swapped for a 787
during the 2012 financial year.
Tight-lipped though it is about new destinations -
sidestepping questions about media reports of plans
for services to Madrid and Berlin -- ANA is effusive
about the benefits the 787 offers in flying to other
potentially lucrative destinations.
"We are very pleased to announce the launch
of further international Dreamliner services to
these two new destinations on the west coast of
the United States. We will make full use of the
efficiencies of the 787, as well as capitalizing on
our close relationship with United and Continental
Airlines to enhance the competitiveness of our joint
ventures with these two Star Alliance partners,"
said Shinichiro Ito, president and CEO of the
ANA Group, when the two new services were
"Seattle is an important international business
hub and home to companies such as Microsoft,
Amazon and of course Boeing itself, while San Jose
is in the heart of Silicon Valley. Passenger demand
to fly to both destinations is high, not only from
Japan but from many Asian cities," Ito said. "The
launch of these new services will make ANA the
only Japanese airline to operate the two routes as
well as the only carrier to operate the Narita-San
ANA is using the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to boost its international pro le, writes Colin Baker
DREAMLINER COME TRUE
"The priority will be hub-airports where
we have a partner." -- All Nippon Airways
The Boeing 787 offers more capacity and substantial fuel-efficiency improvements over the 767s it is replacing.
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