Wednesday, June 3, 2015

ANA to cancel Narita – Paris; up-gauges Haneda link.

All Nippon Airways [NH/ANA] will suspend its Tokyo/Narita [NRT/RJAA] – Paris/Charles de Gaulle [CDG/LFPG] route effective October 25th, the beginning of the Winter 2015/2016 timetable. The service is currently operated on a daily basis using 169-seat (46 business, 21 premium economy, and 102 economy) Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. Instead, Japan's largest carrier will up-gauge its daily Tokyo/Haneda – Paris/Charles de Gaulle from a 787-8 to the larger 215-seat (48 business, 21 premium economy, and 146 economy) 787-9s, a 27% capacity increase, on the same day (ANA's international Boeing 787-9 debuts.). 

Boeing 787-8 JA811A taxies at Haneda for another short flight. This is a domestic-configured example seating 335; 12 in Premium Class and 323 in economy. (Photo: Ryosuke Yano)

As ANA does not have any code-shares on the Narita – Paris/Charles de Gaulle route, canceling the route would go against the so-called Narita Rule. Aimed at protecting Narita from Haneda's expanding international role, the gentleman's agreement with the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) and local governments says any international airline that operates to and from Haneda should also have a link to that country from Narita.

However, overall ANA is in fact growing at Narita, and that may have had the authorities accept the suspension of their French connection. Houston/George Bush [IAH/KIAH] is being prepared for launch on June 12th (ANA announces Houston and Southeast Asia expansion.) while second daily flights to Singapore/Changi [SIN/WSSS] and Bangkok/Suvarnabhumi [BKK/VTBS] will be added (or resumed) from June 11th and August 1st, respectively. Kuala Lumpur/Sepang [KUL/WMKK] will be started on September 1st (ANA reveals Kuala Lumpur and expansion at Narita.) and Honolulu [HNL/PHNL] goes double-daily from July 17th. The addition of Brussels/Zaventem [BRU/EBBR] by the end of this year was only announced a few days ago (ANA announces Narita – Brussels.).

Haneda – Paris/Charles de Gaulle sees competition from Air France [AF/AFR] and Japan Airlines [JL/JAL], and both operate from Narita as well. ANA continues to pursue a dual-hub strategy for Tokyo; it is consolidating its core Asia and Europe markets catering to business travelers at Haneda, while it targets the Asia – North America market and more leisure travelers at Narita.

Source: Aviation Wire, June 2nd. (in Japanese)

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