Japan’s largest airline ANA (All Nippon Airways
) and Europe’s leading airline Lufthansa
have announced that they will soon be launching a strategic joint venture on Japan-Europe routes.
This will be the world’s first joint venture on Japan-Europe routes.
The move comes after ANA received Anti-Trust Immunity (ATI) approval from the Japanese Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport.
A similar joint venture between ANA and United Airlines was launched on trans-Pacific routes in April this year.
With this latest agreement, the two carriers – ANA and Lufthansa – aim to introduce the new joint venture within the 2011 winter timetable.
“I’m delighted that we have received official approval to operate the only joint venture on Japan-Europe routes. This agreement will further improve the level of service we offer to passengers and boost our company’s international competitiveness,” said Shinichiro Ito, President and CEO of ANA.
Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said, “This approval marks a great step forward for our customers. Optimized flight schedules will better enable them in future to plan their trips between Japan and Europe. We look forward to this opportunity to consolidate our cooperation with ANA, which signifies a further milestone that will bring the two economic areas closer together. After the tragic earthquake, the go-ahead for our joint venture is a sign that Japan is looking to the future.”
The joint venture is expected to improve the level of service offered to the passengers by allowing both the airlines to work together on schedule coordination and joint product sales.