MIAMI — ANA has announced that it will place firm orders for 70 new Airbus and Boeing aircraft. At list prices, the order is worth 1700 billion yen, or approximately $16.6 billion US. The order had been expected for some time.
Airbus won the narrow-body battle, picking up an order for seven A320neo, and 23 A321neo single aisle airplanes. The carrier presently operates a handful of A320-200s, about fourteen.
Boeing, meanwhile, took home the wide-body order prize. ANA opted to pick up twenty Boeing 777-9Xs, fourteen 787-9s, and six 777-300ERs. The order continues the trend of the American manufacturer dominating the carrier’s long haul fleet.
The aircraft will be delivered between 2016 and 2027, depending on the type. It is expected to push the carrier’s fleet size to 250 aircraft.
To date, this order is the biggest in the airline’s history, and in a press release, the airline says that it “will support ANA’s drive to become one of the world’s leading airline groups.”
Shinichiro Ito, President and CEO of ANA HD said, “The aircraft we have selected will enable us to modernize and expand our fleet further as we seek to become one of the world’s leading airline groups. These new aircraft will give us maximum flexibility and improved fuel efficiency and will allow us to meet the growth in demand, both internationally and in our domestic Japanese market.
Additionally, ANA says the “introduction of these new aircraft will help it respond to the needs of the increasing number of passengers expected to arrive in Japan in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and will support the Japanese government’s plans to boost the annual total of foreign visitors to Japan to 20 million.”
ANA says the new Boeing aircraft will be used predominantly on international routes. The carrier chose the 777-9X in part because it boasts a 15% larger seating capacity when compared to the current generation 777-300. Yet because the -X program will not gain full traction until late in the decade, and realistically early in the next, the carrier bought a handful of current generation 777-300ERs. The order, though small, will certainly come as a relief to Boeing, which has been searching to fill slots for the current models of 777 until the -X program begins
Lastly, ANA plans to have a fleet of 80 Boeing 787 aircraft.
In a press release, Boeing said: “‘ANA and Boeing share a long and successful partnership that spans more than five decades,’ said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. ‘ANA helped launched the 787 Dreamliner with Boeing, and we are honored to once again have ANA as an early customer of the 777X family of airplanes. We are very proud that they operate an all-Boeing wide-body fleet.”’
ANA’s order is a major victory for Boeing’s 777X over the Airbus A350 XWB, which was ordered by arch-rival JAL in October 2013. ANA’s order is the first order for the 777X in Japan, and the second in Asia after Cathay Pacific’s order for 21 777X airframes. JAL’s CEO commented that they had chose the A350 XWB as they simply felt it was a better plane, thus breaking Boeing’s near wide-body monopoly in Japan. Interestingly enough, the last Boeing 747-400 operated by a Japanese carrier is scheduled to be flown March 31 by ANA from Okinawa to Tokyo Haneda.