ANA eyes United perk

Bloomberg

All Nippon Airways Co., the nation’s largest carrier, expects to more than double the sales boost it expects from a tieup with United Continental Holdings Inc. this fiscal year as new services and improved connections lure business fliers.

The Asia-Americas flights venture will “conservatively” generate ¥4 billion ($48 million) in extra revenue for ANA in the year ending in March, Executive Vice President Keisuke Okada said this week in Tokyo. That compares with ¥1.6 billion the preceding year, the partnership’s first full year.

ANA also anticipates a ¥1.5 billion sales boost this fiscal year from collaboration on European routes with Deutsche Lufthansa AG, as the Tokyo-based carrier uses cooperation to help cut costs and offer passengers a wider range of flights. The tieups let the airlines coordinate schedules and cross-sell tickets, as well as share revenue and costs.

“We had problems expanding our corporate sales overseas before the ventures,” Okada said. “Now, with the help of United and Lufthansa, our sales extend around the world.”

ANA’s venture with United covers 26 routes, including flights from Japan to Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and the United States. The carrier’s planned Tokyo-San Jose service and United’s pending Denver-Tokyo route will be added next year, Okada said.

ANA’s connecting passengers from United flights rose 40 percent in the six months that ended in September from a year earlier, Okada said. The airlines formed the venture, which has antitrust immunity, following the 2010 signing of an open-skies agreement between the U.S. and Japan.

ANA’s passenger traffic on both North American and European routes rose 14 percent from a year earlier in October. That helped offset a slump in Asian travel mainly caused by a territorial dispute with China. Total international traffic rose 5.8 percent.