ANA-Sojitz joint venture plans to target customers in Japan


Although the All Nippon Airlines (ANA) joint venture with Sojitz was created to target the airline’s customers flying into selected US destinations, ANA says that its main target is offering business-jet flights from Japan.

The agreement was originally signed in March and will see the joint venture basing HondaJet aircraft in Chicago and Los Angeles and will be available for ANA’s passengers to connect onwards to smaller cities that the airline does not fly in to.

Following the introduction of US flights, the joint venture will offer similar flights from one of ANA’s European destinations, although it says that the city has not yet been chosen. Nevertheless, it does say that this will happen within ‘this fiscal year’.

ANA currently has scheduled flights to eight European cities. One of them is Paris, although if the airline does choose to base aircraft there it will be in direct competition with Japan Air Lines (JAL), which already has an agreement in place with Dassault Flight Services to provide onward connections from JAL’s flights from Tokyo.

ANA will not be operating the aircraft itself, so the HondaJet aircraft will not be wearing the airline’s blue colour scheme. Instead, ANA will be acting as the charter broker, helping its customers booking the HondaJets to connect with its international flights.

But the company says that its main intent is to promote the use of business jets in Japan.

“Our main target is demand for business travel from Japan, so we will mainly promote our services in Japan,” a company spokesperson told Corporate Jet Investor.

Japan’s business aviation is still very much in its infancy, thanks largely to a heavily regulated market and a lack of infrastructure outside of the larger cities.

According to Asian Sky Group’s 2018 Charter Report, the fleet of business jets available for charter in the country grew by just one aircraft over the course of two years.

Japan does have a sizeable fleet of business jets, however, a high percentage of them are operated in military roles.

ANA is the second largest airline in Japan behind Japan Air Lines (JAL). JAL themselves also has a business jet operation, although that was created alongside Dassault Falcon Service to provide onward private jet connections from JAL’s Paris flights.

ANA Business Jet says that it will begin operations in August, initially from two US cities, but there is a plan in place to expand flights from other cities in North America.