ANA and First Eastern to launch low-fare carrier in Japan

All Nippon Airways (ANA) and First Eastern Investment Group have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) to establish what they claim will be the first Japanese low-cost airline.

The new airline will operate both international and domestic short-haul routes out of Kansai International Airport, Osaka, and will operate independently from ANA, not using the NH code.

The new company will be established in the second half of 2010 with Japanese investors holding a 66.7% stake of which ANA will hold a 39% stake and First Eastern holding the remaining 33.3% stake, the maximum foreign ownership currently allowed for an airline in Japan. Flight operations are expected to begin in the second half of 2011.

Shinichiro Ito, president and CEO of ANA, commented, “Under our corporate vision of becoming the number one airline group in Asia, ANA has been steadily working to substantially improve its network between Japan and Asia. Regardless of the intense competition in the air transportation industry, we anticipate an increase in passenger traffic demand in East Asia, and came to the conclusion that a low cost carrier would be the right approach to compete effectively in this market. We are pleased to partner with First Eastern and to work together to establish the first low-cost carrier in Japan.”

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