LONDON – All Nippon Airways (ANA) has gone on a massive shopping spree, purchasing stakes in Philippine Airlines (PAL) and ordering up to 48 narrow-body jets.

The carrier will invest up to $95 million into PAL for a 9.5% stake and will acquire the shares from Lucio Tan, who is the largest shareholder in the Filipino national carrier.

Shinya Katanozaka, President & CEO of ANA Holdings, stated that Asia is a “key growth market”, hence the reason for this investment.

“We believe Philippine Airlines is in an excellent operational position to capitalize on both the strong uptick in air traffic growth as well as the vibrant, expanding Philippine economy.”

“We look forward to expanding our business relationship with Philippine Airlines so we can continue to serve our passengers even better.”

ANA currently operates 14 weekly flights on two routes to the Philippines, whereas, on the other side, 84 flights from the country operate weekly to nine routes in Japan.

Codesharing is significant between the two sides, showing 16 Japanese and 11 Philippine destinations.

Jaime J. Bautista, President of PAL Holdings, also commented on this sale. “We are honored and excited that a premier airline group such as ANA has decided to purchase shares in PAL Holdings. The Philippines and Japan have a long-standing relationship with complementary strengths,” he said.

Bautista continued with the relationship between the two countries. “This week, in fact, we commemorate the 70th year of Philippine Airlines’ service to Japan, dating back to the launch of our first Manila-Tokyo flight on January 26, 1949.”

“It is a great privilege to celebrate this historic occasion by strengthening our ties with ANA, as we aim to build a relationship that is mutually beneficial with an eye to a more progressive future.”

Ordering 48 Single Aisle Planes

The ANA Group then went on with its second announcement, which was to place an order for up to 48 aircraft, broken down to 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft and 18 Airbus A320neos, with deliveries set to take place between 2021 and 2025.

According to the carrier, “the decision was based on the economic growth of Asia and emerging countries, with demand in the Asian aviation market and inbound demand on the rise”.

The carrier did also mention that the specific markets that will be served by these new aircraft have not been finalised as of yet.

With only 270km difference in range favorable to the 737 MAX 8, the carrier has decided to include an extra 10 aircraft in its options included in the order.

Photo: BriYYZ

The carrier also stated a side-by-side comparison between the two aircraft, potentially hinting at wherever the aircraft will operate on, it will be relatively similar.

Some of these aircraft will be placed with Peach Aviation to support its current strategy.

It remains clear that these orders do definitely reflect the significant growth Asia and the Far-East is currently experiencing at this time.

The industry will no doubt be looking out for the new route announcements from ANA and where the new aircraft will take the airline.