All Nippon Airways (ANA) has unveiled plans to launch a new airline, as part of its response to the operating challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the global airline industry.
The as-yet-unnamed brand will be positioned between the full-service ANA and budget Peach Aviation, catering to low-cost, medium-distance flights to destinations in Southeast Asia and Oceania.
Slated for launch around 2022, the planes of choice for the new airline will be the Boeing 787 aircraft configured with 300-plus seats.
"By using the current Air Japan entity as the foundation, the brand will be capable of responding to sudden changes in demand and begin operations quickly after its establishment," said ANA.
The airline says its transformation initiative are driven by various shifts in travel patterns amid the pandemic, including the decrease in business travel amid "widespread popularity of online conferences and meetings", untapped markets with preference for greater hygiene during travel, as well as continued demand for leisure trips and potential growth in new segments such as 'workations'.
Peach Aviation will also tap into this leisure market, with an expanded customer base to business passengers and families via new initiatives such as the exchange of ANA mileages to Peach Aviation's points.
There will also be increased medium-distance international routes on Peach's new Airbus A321LR aircraft—which allow the airline to tap into new long-haul markets that were not previously accessible with current single-aisle aircraft.
Furthermore, Peach Aviation's recent shift to Terminal 1 at Narita Airport on 25 October will also allow greater synergy with ANA for travellers around the Tokyo metropolitan area.
As part of its push With digitisation leading the way for many travel businesses in the post-Covid era, ANA Sales will be split off, with its travel business unit merged with ANA X to form a singular, data-driven platform business unit to best utilise customer data coming from apps, website and other digital components of the ANA Group. This is slated for an April 2021 launch.
ANA will retire a total of 35 aircraft in 2020, an addition of 28 aircraft from its initial plan of seven.
"ANA Holdings is embarking on an ambitious transformation that will strengthen operations and position it for long-term growth and success in a market still reeling from Covid-19," said Shinya Katanozaka, president and CEO of ANA Holdings.
"This comprehensive transformation initiative is not simply about cutting costs, instead it will address how travel has changed so that ANA Holdings has a framework for an entirely new, future-oriented operational strategy."