ANA to order 30 planes from Boeing and 18 from Airbus amid Japan inbound tourism boom

AFP-JIJI, Reuters

The operator of All Nippon Airways said Tuesday it will order a total of 48 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus for delivery between 2021 and 2025.

ANA Holdings said it will buy 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and 18 Airbus A320neos, citing growing demand in the region and increased inbound tourism to Japan.

The company said the 30 Boeing jets will have a catalogue price of ¥383 billion ($3.5 billion), adding that the firm has so far confirmed orders for 20 planes with an option to buy 10 more.

The 18 Airbus orders are all confirmed, but details regarding their engines have yet to be decided, the company said.

For now, the Airbus deal has a catalogue price of ¥166 billion, ANA Holdings said.

The deal makes ANA the first Japanese buyer of the Boeing model, while the Airbus A320neo already serves ANA’s international routes. The company praised the fuel efficiency of the two models.

The Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo have amassed thousands of orders due to significant fuel savings offered by a new generation of engines. But the world’s largest plane makers continue to wage fierce market battles, with Boeing having chipped away at the Airbus lead in medium-haul airplanes.

President Donald Trump and other top U.S. administration officials have criticized Japan over its trade surplus with the United States, asserting that Tokyo treats Washington unfairly by shipping millions of cars to North America while blocking imports of U.S. autos and farm products.

Japan says its markets for manufactured goods are open, although it does protect politically sensitive farm products.

In September, Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to start trade talks in an arrangement that appeared, temporarily at least, to protect Japanese automakers from further tariffs on their exports, which make up about two-thirds of Japan’s $69 billion trade surplus with the United States.

Japan has insisted the new Trade Agreement on Goods would not be a wide-ranging free trade agreement, but U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said last year he was aiming for a full free trade deal requiring approval by Congress.