ANA Plans to Buy A380 Superjumbos to Expand Overseas Routes

  • Carrier to take delivery in fiscal year beginning April 2018
  • International move comes amid bullet-train competition at home

ANA Holdings Inc. said it plans to buy three Airbus Group SE A380 superjumbos to use on overseas routes as Japan’s largest airline focuses on expanding its international network.

The carrier will use the planes on Tokyo-Honolulu flights after taking delivery during the fiscal year starting April 2018, the company said in a presentation of its mid-term business plan Friday in Tokyo. The order is worth $1.3 billion at list prices, before the discounts typically given by planemakers.

ANA is adding international routes including Phnom Penh and Sydney after Japan received a record number of visitors last year. The airline is expanding overseas destinations as a shrinking population and competition from Japan’s bullet-train network limit growth domestically.

The carrier expects sales of 2.16 trillion yen ($18 billion) for the fiscal year starting April 2020, and operating profit of 200 billion yen, according to the mid-term statement. 

For the current fiscal year ending March 31, ANA expects operating income of 125 billion yen on sales of 1.79 trillion yen, it said in a separate earnings statement released Friday.

Flexible Configuration

In a statement Friday, Airbus said its planes "will help ANA Group overcome capacity constraints at Tokyo’s busy airports, transporting more passengers, more efficiently and in greater comfort – all at lower cost.”

The A380 typically seats about 525 passengers, but can carry more than 800 depending on the configuration. Its list price is $433 million.

Airbus won an order from Japanese low-cost carrier Skymark Airlines Inc. for four A380s in 2010 and a further two the following year. The deal turned sour after Skymark wasn’t able to pay for the planes and ended up filing for bankruptcy.

ANA, which owns 16.5 percent of Skymark, is sponsoring a rehabilitation plan for the low-cost airline that includes code-sharing as well as joint purchases, flight operation management and aircraft maintenance.

Japan Airlines

Also Friday, Japan Airlines Co., the country’s second-largest carrier, reported nine-month net income of 143.7 billion yen as sales rose 0.1 percent to 1.02 trillion yen. The carrier left its full-year net income forecast unchanged at 172 billion yen.

Shares of JAL rose 1.3 percent Friday to 4,476 yen, their highest close since Nov. 20, while ANA shares rose 1.8 percent to 351 yen, their highest close since Dec. 2. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 2.8 percent on the day.

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