Friday, June 12, 2015

ANA launches Houston-Narita flights

Japans All Nippon Airways (ANA) on June 12 commenced service on its newest route, from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to Toyko’s Narita Airport (NRT).

The inaugural flight took off following a ribbon cutting and sake ceremony complete with a Taiko Japanese drum performance. Airline officials said the new service underscored the global importance of the city of Houston.

“As a key market for the U.S. oil and gas industry, expanding service to Houston … emphasizes our desire to make travel more convenient,” Osamu Shinobe, president and CEO of ANA, said. “Additionally, this new route will allow us to improve access between Asia and Latin America.”

Houston is ANA’s tenth North American destination.

ANA Dreamliner arrives in Seattle 
While the city pair has been served by ANA’s joint venture partner United Airlines (NYSE:UAL), the addition of ANA’s nonstop service to Houston provides passengers with more options between Houston and Tokyo. Customers can now choose a morning or afternoon departure in each direction, providing greater flexibility for travelers, especially those taking advantage of ANA’s expanded service to other Asian and American destinations beyond Houston or Tokyo.

“The economic and cultural ties that exist between Houston and Japan continue to strengthen and the arrival of All Nippon Airways is a testament to that growth,” Houston Mayor Annise Parker said. “We look forward to enjoying an even greater level of connectivity in Asia, thanks to ANA’s extensive global route network.”

Passengers on the route will fly in a Boeing (NYSE:BA) 777-300ER. The 250-seat passenger plane includes eight First Class open suites, 52 flat bed Business Class seats, 24 Premium Economy and 166 standard economy seats.

According to SeatGuru.com, First Class seats are 33 inches wide with 76 inches of pitch while Business Class seats are 21 inches wide with 62 inches of pitch. Premium Economy seats are 19.3 inches wide with 38 inches of pitch, while standard economy seats are a tight 16.5 inches wide but offer 34 inches of pitch.

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Photo by Carl Dombek
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