European aircraft manufacturer Airbus announced today that All Nippon Airways (ANA) will introduce three more Airbus single-aisle A320s into its fleet. The decision is based on ANA's "Revisions to Fleet Plans" in its mid-term corporate plan announced on March 28.
With the opening of the second runway at Narita Airport in 2002 and with increased slot time available at Haneda Airport, ANA has decided to add three more A320s to its fleet. With the introduction of additional A320s, ANA plans to reduce the number of aircraft types in its fleet, and to strengthen its route network, especially on high-demand domestic routes connecting with Haneda Airport. Deliveries of the three aircraft, which ANA will take the aircraft on operating lease from Mitsui & Co., are scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2003. CFM International CFM56-5A-1 engines have been selected for ANA's new A320s as these engines power the carrier's existing A320 fleet.
The best-selling A320 Family's optimised cabin cross-section has set a new standard for passenger comfort in single-aisle aircraft, allowing for wider seats and aisles. Comprised of the A318 (107 seats in a standard two-class layout), A319 (124 seats), A320 (150 seats), and A321 (185 seats), which all share the highest degree of commonality and economy, the A320 Family offers many advantages for operators, such as reduced maintenance and training costs.
"We are extremely pleased that the first A320 operator in Japan has decided to add more of these aircraft to its fleet," said Noël Forgeard, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus. "The A320, as reflected by many independent polls, is the most popular single-aisle aircraft among passengers."
ANA offers flight services to 24 cities worldwide and 36 cities in Japan. The Japanese airline carried 42.7 million passengers in 1999 and was ranked 7th in IATA's World Air Transport Statistics. ANA currently operates 143 aircraft, 25 of which are A320s. ANA's subsidiary Air Nippon operates eight of the 25 A320s. ANA ordered its first ten A320s in 1987, the first of which was delivered to the airline in 1991.
With well over 4,200 orders booked to date from some 180 customers worldwide, Airbus is one of only two manufacturers in the market for commercial aircraft seating more than 100 passengers. Offering the most modern and comprehensive airliner family in the world, Airbus consistently captures about half of this market - a position it is well-equipped to maintain in the future. Headquartered in Toulouse (France), Airbus is jointly owned by EADS (80 per cent) and BAE SYSTEMS (20 per cent).