Saturday, December 13, 2014

ANA announces Houston and Southeast Asia expansion.

On December 11th, All Nippon Airways [NH/ANA] announced that they will launch non-stop Tokyo/Narita [NRT/RJAA] – Houston/George Bush [IAH/KIAH] service on June 12th, 2015. It will be operated daily using their 250-seat (eight first, 52 business, and 190 economy class) Boeing 777-300ERs. It will be the first time the Texas airport, which is a hub for joint-venture (JV) and Star Alliance partner United Airlines [UA/UAL], will receive a direct link to Japan on a Japanese carrier.

Boeing 767-381/ER JA606A FLY! PANDA operated its last revenue flight in the special livery on December 9th with NH906, service from Beijing to Narita. It started flying on July 25th, 2007 to celebrate ANA's 20th anniversary of flights to China. She will receive normal colors along with a conversion to domestic configuration. (Photo: Ryosuke Yano)

The new service will augment United's existing daily flight, and is aimed at enhancing connection to and from Latin America, especially Mexico, where the presence of Japanese companies is rapidly increasing, and South America.

Flight Schedule:
Narita – Houston/George Bush NEW 1 daily with B777-300ER.
NH174 NRT 1115 – 0930 IAH 77W Daily *From 2015/Jun 12.
NH175 IAH 1120 – 1520(+1) NRT 77W Daily *From 2015/Jun/12.

At the same time, ANA also announced the addition (or resumption) of a second daily flight from Narita to Singapore/Changi [SIN/WSSS] from June 11th and to Bangkok/Suvarnabhumi [BKK/VTBS] from August 1st. 169-seat (46 business, 21 premium economy, and 102 economy class) long-haul-configured Boeing 787-8s will be assigned to the new flights, bringing its hard product on par with its competitors, which already offer lie-flat seats in business class.

Flight Schedule: 
Narita – Bangkok/Suvarnabhumi increase from 1 to 2 daily.
NH807 NRT 1655 – 2135 BKK 788 Daily *NEW from 2015/Aug/1.
NH805 NRT 1815 – 2255 BKK 772 Daily
NH808 BKK 0030 – 0840 NRT 788 Daily *NEW from 2015/Aug/2.
NH806 BKK 0650 – 1500 NRT 772 Daily 

Narita – Singapore/Changi increase from 1 to 2 daily.
NH845 NRT 1700 – 2315 SIN 788 Daily *NEW from 2015/Jun/11.
NH801 NRT 1805 – 0005(+1) SIN 788 Daily
NH846 SIN 0035 – 0845 NRT 788 Daily *NEW from 2015/Jun/12.
NH802 SIN 0550 – 1400 NRT 788 Daily

The new services strengthen ANA's Narita hub as a Asia - North America transit point. Together with its two daily round-trips from Tokyo/Haneda [HND/RJTT], Japan's largest carrier will operate four daily round-trips on these two key Southeast Asian routes. 

ANA will be taking delivery of three additional 777-300ERs between March and May next year along with several 787s, so further new services are likely to be announced in due course. For Summer 2015, rumors point out to another route (or frequency increase) to North America, the addition (or resumption) of its Narita – London/Heathrow [LHR/EGLL] route, which was moved to Haneda this spring (ANA's Summer 2014 international expansion.), plus three new cities in Asia. Narita – Kuala Lumpur/International [KUL/WMKK], Haneda – Istanbul/Atatürk [IST/LTBA] (ANA considering Haneda – Istanbul.), and its first route to Cambodia (either Phnom Penh or Siem Reap) seem to be at the top of their wishlist.

Source: All Nippon Airways, December 11th. (in Japanese)

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