Monday, July 28, 2014

ANA strongly considers Tokyo – Mexico City.

All Nippon Airways (NH/ANA) is considering launching a direct flight to Mexico City, according to a comment by Shinichiro Ito, President and CEO of ANA Holdings, parent of ANA. Japan's largest carrier, both domestically and internationally, plans to use Mexico City as the gateway to Latin America. The flight would likely be operated by the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing 787-8 JA827A with ANA's new Inspiration of JAPAN titles. (Photo: ANA)

"I'm with renewed feelings about the momentum of Japanese companies entering the market here," Mr. Ito said during his visit accompanying Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a trip through five Latin American countries including Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, Chile, and Brazil. "We're very positive for a direct flight," he added. Japanese firms doing business in Mexico increased from 680 to over 800 in just one year, as companies start to look beyond Southeast Asia. Annual Japanese visitors to Mexico numbered 52,000 for 2009, but exceeded 100,000 in 2013.

Japan Airlines' (JL/JAL) Tokyo/Narita (NRT/RJAA) – Vancouver (YVR/CYVR) route used to extend to Mexico City/Benito Juárez (MEX/MMMX) until it was axed in 2010 during JAL's restructuring. Currently, AeroMéxico (AM/AMX) is the sole carrier serving the market with four-times-weekly direct flights operated by 787s. The eastbound leg is non-stop, while the westbound journey refuels at Tijuana (TIJ/MMTJ), though the intermediate stop is expected to be changed to Monterrey/Mariano Escobedo (MTY/MMMY) from September 18th.

Mr. Ito also emphasized they would look into the Asia – Latin America (connection at Narita?) market as well before making a final decision. In FY2015, the once-exclusively domestic carrier expects for the first time in its history to have more international than domestic capacity. By FY2016, ANA plans to have 45% more international flights compared to FY2013, a figure which includes their Haneda expansion (ANA's Summer 2014 international expansion.) this spring. Other new destinations under consideration include Istanbul (ANA considering Haneda – Istanbul.).

Reference: Nikkei Shimbun, July 27th. (in Japanese)

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