The two airlines are in talks about a business alliance which may be agreed “in three or four months,” Mark Dunkerley, chief executive officer of Hawaiian Holdings Inc., the parent of Hawaiian Airlines, said today in an interview in Tokyo. The carriers are also discussing frequent-flyer programs and cargo agreements, according to a joint statement by the companies.
All Nippon, Asia’s largest listed airline by sales, and Hawaiian agreed to ally as the Honolulu-based carrier expands into Japan, a market the airline has sought to enter for “many years,” Dunkerley said. Hawaiian Airlines received one of four U.S. landing slots for a new runway to open at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport this month.
“What we’ve been waiting for is the right circumstances” to enter the Japanese market, Dunkerley said. The agreement with ANA will give customers “seamless connections and frequent flyer benefits,” he said.
Dunkerley has targeted “short list of eight or 10 cities, mostly in Asia” for expansion, including four or five in Japan, he said. Hawaiian Airlines’ first flight to Haneda starts on Nov. 17.
ANA, which begins flights from Haneda to Honolulu on Oct. 31, said the pact will give its customers greater choice in the largest market between Japan and the U.S. by number of passengers, according to the statement. The Japanese airline also expects to benefit from Hawaiian Airlines flights among the islands.
“Our customers will be able to enjoy a wider network” in the Hawaiian islands, ANA President Shinichiro Ito said in the statement.