Monday, November 10, 2014

ANA named Asia-Pacific Airline of the Year

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has been named Asia-Pacific Airline of the Year by aviation think-tank CAPA - Centre for Aviation at the recently concluded CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence in Singapore.

CAPA's Aviation Awards for Excellence are intended to reward airlines and airports that show industry leadership at a time of rapid change  in the airline world, the organization said in a statement announcing the award.

“The aviation industry environment remains challenging, but we are committed to the steady implementation of strategies to achieve our goal to be the world’s leading airline group,” Hiroyuki Ito, ANA’s senior executive vice president, said.

Established in 1990 as the Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation, Australia-based CAPA provides independent intelligence, analysis and data services to the global aviation market. The Asia-Pacific Airline of the Year award is presented to airlines continuously achieving an extremely high level of performance over the previous 12 months.

ANA was selected for the honor in recognition of its achievements in six specific areas. Those include recognizing the importance of the low-cost sector by implementing a multi-brand model with launch of two new low-cost or hybrid carriers Peach and Vanilla Air.

The airline “has been at the vanguard of the multi-brand model in this region,” Peter Harbison, CAPA executive chairman, said in a statement. “Recognizing the importance of participating in the low-cost sector while also continuing to expand the full-service brand has required courage and persistence and ANA has overcome numerous obstacles along the way."

Expansions of its full-service brand included significant investment in new technology and products, including the 787 Dreamliner, for which ANA was aircraft manufacturer Boeing’s (NYSE:BA) launch customer. I was privileged to take part in ANA’s first Dreamliner flight from Seattle (SEA) to Tokyo in 2012. Read about my experience here.

The airline won accolades for successfully pursuing international expansion and improving its long-term position while successfully managing an international hub split between Narita (NRT) and Haneda (HND) Airports.

ANA was also cited for making financial changes that enabled it to narrow the gap with Japan Airlines (JAL), which benefited from bankruptcy protection before emerging in 2012, for diversifying by acquiring aviation-related companies and taking strategic financial positions in airlines outside its home market, and for strengthening existing joint ventures with key alliance partners while also pursuing new partnerships with other airlines to strengthen its position in the fast-growing and strategically important Southeast Asian market.

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