ANA spreads its cargo wings

Until recently ANA was more of a domestic Japanese carrier, both for cargo and passengers. Now it is changing on both sides of the business, and forging a new cargo identity with a focus on the intra-Asian market.

On the passenger side, All Nippon Airways (ANA) has always been known for its strength in the Japanese domestic market, and until recently much the same could have been said of its cargo business. Unusually for a mainstream carrier, its cargo revenue was split about 50-50 between the domestic andinternational.

Though the carrier obviously had some belly cargo on its long-haul 747- 400 passenger routes, it also regarded Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) – in which ANA had a 27.6 per cent stake– as its long-haul freighter arm.

All that started to change in August 2005, when ANA Group sold the stake in NCA to Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line), which was already NCA’s largestshareholder.

“We came to realise that the strategies we wished to pursue were diverging, hence the split,” says Akinori Nomoto, ANA board member and executive vice president cargo marketing and services.

“ANA wanted to grow its cargo business using medium-sized freighters and the belly holds of passenger aircraft, and move into the time-critical market, concentrating on Asia, which IATA and others such as Boeing forecast will be the fastest growing logistics market.”

NYK, by contrast, wanted to remain focused on long-haul, wide-body operations. “When this incompatibility became more apparent, it was decided to part ways,” Nomoto says.