Japan's MLIT stated (09-Sep-2011) it would commence aviation talks for an open skies agreement with Canada in Vancouver on 13/14-Sep-2011. With the exception of the US, this will be the first open skies negotiations with a country outside east Asia and the ASEAN group, with which MLIT has almost completed conclusion for agreements.
Japan to commence open skies talks with Canada
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All Nippon Airways SWOT: a secure base with room for improvement, but no room for complacency
All Nippon Airways has become both Japan's largest domestic and, more recently, international carrier. Its home is a domestic market with affinity for Japanese carriers – and increasingly ANA, not rival JAL – that translates to a yield premium. ANA is planning international and long-haul growth to reduce its reliance on the domestic market. In 2015 the once-exclusively domestic ANA expects for the first time in its history to have more international than domestic capacity.
But ANA is in a market filled with potential growth, has the highest cost base of major Asian carriers, and a smaller Asian network than its peers. While ANA is delivering returns, it is to a degree relatively inefficient, with low aircraft utilisation and domestic load factors around 60%. While these attributes provide the market with the reliability and rewards it prefers, it also means that should the market become more complex and require change, ANA has options to restructure. This is in contrast with global peers that have few avenues left to pursue.
An international pivot comes with the reality that ANA has limited experience with other markets, having catered largely to outbound Japan. While this has meant some mistakes along the way, ANA has been sufficiently innovative to embark on a strategy involving international acquisitions, including a proposed small investment in Myanmar's Asian Wings, a low risk venture now considered doubtful.
Outbound Chinese tourists to surpass 100 million in 2014. Northeast Asian airlines first to benefit
The number of Chinese outbound tourists in 2014 will likely exceed 100 million, more than the population of Germany and nearing the population of Japan. Yet this will still account for less than 10% of China's population taking one international trip a year. Importantly too, the growth rate is very high.
These are obviously market-changing opportunities for airlines, especially in North Asia, where most Chinese travel to when going abroad. But in the short term the opportunities are mixed for countries as overseas Chinese tourists shift destination preferences.
This first of a two-part report looks at Chinese demand for travel to Northeast Asia, where growth is generally positive. Japan experienced challenges in late 2012 and early 2013 as political tensions saw visitor arrivals dramatically fall; Japan has since rebounded. South Korea was a beneficiary and continues to maintain momentum; Chinese visitor arrivals are up 57% in the first five months of 2014.
The second part of this China tourism report will look at Southeast Asia, where tourism figures have recently softened.