ANA adding resort operations to budget travel

All Nippon Airways, which only last month bailed out of a budget airline joint venture, is planning to create a budget-oriented resort-oriented air carrier.

Shinzo Shimizu, ANA’s senior vice president, says that “In the Tokyo metropolitan area, business travelers can depart Haneda, and the Narita-based budget flyer can capture tourism demand.”  He says the name for the new airline, which will start up with a pair of aircraft, will be announced sometime this month.

ANA had been involved the past two years in a budget airline joint venture, but bought AirAsia Bhd for ¥2.45 billion ($24.99 million), dissolving the losing venture.  The Japanese airline says it will not realign its budget focus to resort-oriented business.  By next spring, the new airline will increase to five aircraft.

Okinawa will be one of the popular domestic tourist destinations for the new airline, with another being Sapporo, ANA adds that overseas resort destinations are coming.  It’s goal by next summer is to add Hawaii to its destinations.  It says the new airline will target families and budget-minded tourists wanting to travel outside Japan.

On another venture note, ANA says its Peach Aviation, another low-cost carrier, will increase its tourist-based operations with new flights being launched on an Okinawa-Taiwan route.  That is slated to happen in September.