Thursday, August 20, 2015

ANA axes Oshima and transfers two routes to Air Do.

On August 19th, All Nippon Airways [NH/ANA] announced that they will cancel their daily Tokyo/Haneda [HND/RJTT] – Oshima [OIM/RJTO] service effective October 25th, the beginning of the Winter 2015/2016 schedule. It will also transfer Hakodate [HKD/RJCH] – Nagoya/Chubu Centrair [NGO/RJGG] and Sapporo/New Chitose [CTS/RJCC] – Hiroshima [HIJ/RJOA], both flown once daily, to AIRDO [HD/ADO] (d.b.a. Air Do).

Boeing 737-781(WL) JA18AN prepares for takeoff from New Chitose near Sapporo. Two more 737-700s will be transferred to Air Do, while the Hokkaido carrier's remaining two 737-500s will be returned to ANA. (Photo: Ryosuke Yano)

ANA has served Oshima, an island governed by Tokyo and located only 94 kilometers (58 miles) from Haneda, since 1955. After the 56-seat Bombardier DHC-8-300Q was retired on March 30th, 2014 (ANA quietly retires the Bombardier DHC-8-300Q), Japan's largest carrier had been deploying 120-seat (eight Premium Class and 112 economy) Boeing 737-700, since then the smallest aircraft in their fleet. However, the up-gauge resulted in an unsustainable load factor of just 14.1% for FY2014, and 10.4% for the recent six months. ANA's withdrawal will leave New Central Airservice [CUK] as the sole airline serving Oshima, from Tokyo/Chofu [RJTF] using 19-seat Dornier Do 228s (New Central Airservice receives 2nd Dornier 228NG.).

Meanwhile, the two Hokkaido routes had been announced earlier by Air Do as new routes, along with new three-times-daily New Chitose – Chubu Centrair (Air Do is coming to Hiroshima and Nagoya.). ANA is also cutting two of its six round-trips on the latter link. This announcement had been expected, as ANA Holdings, parent of ANA, holds 13.61% of Air Do, and implements code-sharing and joint ticket sales throughout its network, joint fuel purchases, joint crew training, and coordinates flights to complement that of ANA's. When Air Do cannot make a route work, it is transferred back to ANA (ANA takes over Air Do's unprofitable secondary routes.). 

Together with ANA partner Development Bank of Japan's (DBJ) 32.49% share, ANA virtually controls 46.1% of the Hokkaido-based start-up that originally challenged the legacy carriers. Air Do has adopted ANA's reservation system, giving its former rival access to all of their operational and financial data, and hence helping to relegate themselves to a feeder carrier for Japan's largest airline. ANA is trying to replicate this with Skymark Airlines [BC/SKY] (Bye-bye Skymark, Hello ANA Airbus A380?), as it did with Skynet Asia Airways [6J/SNJ] (d.b.a. Solaseed Air) and Star Flyer [7G/SFJ] as well.

Source: All Nippon Airways, 2015 August 19th. (in Japanese)
Source: All Nippon Airways, 2015 August 19th. (in Japanese)
Source: Aviation Wire, August 20th. (in Japanese)

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