Friday, December 12, 2014

ANA to launch Houston-Tokyo service

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) will launch service from Tokyo’s Narita Airport (NRT) to Houston next summer as part of an expansion of its network between the Americas and the growing Asian market.

Citing a “significant demand” for flights from Houston to Asia, ANA plans to commence flights starting June 12, 2015, pending approval by the relevant authorities. Passengers will be able to book flights from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to NRT starting Dec. 17.

“Houston will be our tenth destination in North America and will provide a great gateway to Central and South America from Japan and many other Asian countries,” Osamu Shinobe, president and CEO of ANA said in a Dec. 11 statement announcing the new service. “Together with our joint venture partner United [Airlines], we are confident that passenger demand will be high and that our expanding network will provide customers with greater choice."

Houston is the capital of the U.S. oil and gas industry and IAH is one of the biggest hub airports for United Airlines (NYSE:UAL). The new service is also expected to enable ANA to improve access for its passengers to Central and South America.

ANA 777-300ER
Photo courtesy Boeing
“The airport has a wealth of domestic and international connections making it easier for passengers from Asian countries to fly through to various destinations in the United States and other countries with growing business demand such as Mexico and Brazil,” the airline said.

ANA will operate a Boeing (NYSE:BA) 777-300ER on the route. Flights will leave IAH at 11:20 a.m., arriving at NRT at 3:30 p.m. the following day, owing to crossing the international date line. Return flights will depart NRT at 11:15 a.m., arriving at IAH at 9:30 a.m.

In addition, ANA will be expanding its summer schedule by adding more flights from NRT to Singapore’s Changi International Airport (SIN) and Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK), making it easier for transfer passengers to connect between its Asian and American networks.

787 Dreamliner
Photo by Carl Dombek

ANA will increase the number of flights from NRT to SIN and BKK by introducing daily service from NRT in addition to the existing double daily service from Tokyo’s Haneda airport (HND). Flights will leave NRT for SIN at 17:00 and arrive at 23:15, with return flights leaving SIN at 00:35 and arriving NRT at 08:35. Flights for BKK will leave NRT at 16:55, arriving at 21:35. return flights will leave BKK at 00:30 and arrive NRT at 08:40. All flights will be aboard Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners.

Flights from SIN and BKK arriving in NRT in the early morning hours will increase the number of North American cities that can be connected and will, together with the evening flight, greatly increase the convenience of Asia-North America connections at NRT, the airline said.

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