Wednesday, June 17, 2015

ANA launches Narita – Houston.

On June 12th, All Nippon Airways [NH/ANA] launched daily Tokyo/Narita [NRT/RJAA] – Houston/George Bush [IAH/KIAH] service (ANA announces Houston and Southeast Asia expansion.) using 250-seat (eight first, 52 business, 24 premium economy, and 166 economy) Boeing 777-300ERs. Operated as part of the joint-venture (JV) with Star Alliance partner United Airlines [UA/UAL], this is the first direct link from Japan to the Texas airport on a Japanese carrier.

Boeing 777-381/ER JA733A departs rainy Narita on ANA's inaugural to Houston. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

Inaugural flight NH174 departed Narita at 1115 JST with a load of 244 passengers, 14 flight attendants, and three cockpit crew. Flown by 777-381/ER JA733A, it lifted off from Runway 34L at 1146.

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

Houston is the fourth most populous city in the U.S. housing several energy corporations. 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. At Narita, passengers can connect from Bangkok/Suvarnabhumi [BKK/VTBS], Ho Chi Minh/Tan Son Nhat [SGN/VVTS], Mumbai/Chhatrapati Shivaji [BOM/VABB], Singapore/Changi [SIN/WSSS], and Yangon [RGN/VYYY] onto the new service, while at Houston, ANA has placed its code on 19 U.S. domestic and seven Mexico routes operated by United.

Present at the departure of their first flight, Shinya Katanozaka, President of ANA Holdings, parent of ANA, said "We expect strong demand from energy-related businesses, but we would like to develop the leisure travel market as well. Already 25% of today's flight are connecting passengers, and that would probably go up to 50%," adding "Our target load factor is 75%. The figures so far look better than our other recently-started routes. We put the 777-300ER because it is equipped with first class, and there's strong demand for corporate travel."

Source: Aviation Wire, June 12th. (in Japanese)

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