Japan chooses Boeing 777-300ER as government’s official jet

JIJI

The government on Tuesday chose two Boeing 777-300ERs as its next official jets, to go into service starting in fiscal 2019.

ANA Holdings Inc., the parent of All Nippon Airways, was selected as the maintenance service provider for the aircraft.

The new jets will replace the current government aircraft, two Boeing 747-400s, that will be retired at the end of fiscal 2018.

ANA Holdings and Japan Airlines proposed that the government introduce the 777-300ER as its next jet and bid to offer maintenance services for the aircraft. After examining the bids from the two rival firms, the government chose ANA Holdings over JAL.

In its proposal, ANA Holdings estimated the purchase costs for the two jets at ¥85 billion. The company said operation, maintenance and other related expenses for the two aircraft will reach ¥38 billion over the 20 years following fiscal 2019.

The Defense Ministry will conclude a formal contract with ANA Holdings as early as this autumn.

Maintenance services for the current 747-400 jets are provided by JAL.

ANA Holdings owns 19 777-300ERs at present and plans to add nine more.

ANA may have to respond to requests for flights using the government jets during emergencies such as disasters and armed conflicts abroad, an area in which it has little experience.