All Nippon Airways Co. has concluded agreements with United Airlines and Lufthansa German Airlines to start code-sharing operations in October and July, respectively, ANA officials said Tuesday.
ANA will offer joint operations with UA on 11 routes between Japan and the United States beginning Oct. 25 as part of their comprehensive marketing alliance, the officials said.
Its code-sharing operations with Lufthansa will cover eight weekly flights between Tokyo and Frankfurt beginning July 1. “The alliance is a strategy to ensure our survival. We judged that the alliance would be essential to (ANA’s) survival in the international market toward the 21st century,” Isao Yagi, ANA’s senior vice president, told a news conference.
However, ANA has not yet decided whether it will join Star Alliance, a group of international carriers led by UA and Lufthansa, saying the matter will be examined in the future. Under the code-sharing agreement, routes covered by ANA and UA can be designated with the same flight numbers, thereby allowing the two firms to share seats on their flights. Airlines say such operations will make them more competitive and increase passenger convenience.
The code-sharing operations on trans-Pacific routes are expected to cover about 120 flights a week, of which about 30 flights are to be operated by ANA and about 90 by UA. For domestic U.S. routes, the two carriers plan to offer code-sharing for flights linking gateway cities such as Los Angeles and Washington D.C. with 12 destinations starting Oct. 25, the ANA officials said. For domestic Japanese routes, UA-ANA code-sharing will be applied to four routes from Tokyo and Osaka to Sapporo and Okinawa beginning the same date.
ANA, which expanded to include international service in 1986, plans to increase by 2001 its world routes to account for 46 percent of its total flights in preparation for the scheduled opening of a second runway at Narita airport in Chiba Prefecture, the official said. “The reason for the code-sharing is to gain a competitive edge over other (airlines) groups. We will expand our international operations in view of the code-sharing,” said Senior Vice President Kazuhisa Shin.
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