All Nippon Airways and First Eastern Investment Group signed (09-Sep-2010) an MoU to establish the "first Japanese low-cost airline". The new airline will operate international and domestic short-haul routes out of Kansai International Airport and will operate independently from ANA. The new company will be established in 2H2010 with Japanese investors holding a 66.7% stake of which ANA will hold 39% and First Eastern will hold the remaining 33.3%, the maximum foreign ownership level allowed for an airline in Japan. The new company’s air transport operations are expected to commence in 2H2011. [more - Press Release] [more - Perspective]
ANA: “Under our corporate vision of becoming the number one airline group in Asia, ANA has been steadily working to substantially improve its network between Japan and Asia. Regardless of the intense competition in the air transportation industry, we anticipate an increase in passenger traffic demand in East Asia, and came to the conclusion that a low-cost carrier would be the right approach to compete effectively in this market. We are pleased to partner with First Eastern and to work together to establish the first low-cost carrier in Japan,” Shinichiro Ito, President and CEO. Source: Company Statement, 09-Sep-2010.
First Eastern: "I am delighted to invest alongside ANA to establish the first low cost carrier in Japan, especially as my family has had strong ties with Japan for over 50 years. First Eastern has been pioneering private equity investments from Hong Kong for over 20 years and we are confident that our unique regional expertise and networks will contribute significantly to the success of our new joint venture with ANA,” Victor Chu, Chairman and CEO. Source: Company Statement, 09-Sep-2010.