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All Nippon Airways
An All Nippon Airways (ANA) jetliner lands at Tokyo Haneda airport in October. ANA is considering expanding into Cambodia. AFP

ANA to expand into Cambodia

Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) is considering expanding its operations to Cambodia, according to the latest analysis from the Australian-based Centre for Aviation (CAPA).

A CAPA December 11 report states that ANA is considering new Cambodian destinations in an effort to increase its 14 per cent share of the Japan-Southeast Asia market.

“ANA CEO Osamu Shinobe told CAPA at last month’s Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) Assembly of Presidents in Tokyo that Cambodia and Malaysia are under consideration,” the CAPA report states.

“Kuala Lumpur and Siem Reap would be logical new destinations for ANA as they are popular spots for Japanese tourists and also have potential sixth freedom traffic [the right of an airline to carry passengers or cargo from a second country to a third country by stopping in one’s own country] to North America. The Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, which has more business traffic than Siem Reap, could be a possibility.”

ANA’s arrival would mark the first Japanese airline to establish a direct, non-stop route between Tokyo’s Narita airport and the Kingdom.

The Cambodia plans are just part of ANA’s continued effort to improve its position against its primary competitor, Japan Airlines, according to CAPA. ANA has increased its Southeast Asia seating capacity by 44 per cent since December 2012.

“ANA has been looking over the last two years to supplement its position in Southeast Asia, which it sees as a key growth market, through strategic acquisitions,” CAPA states

ANA has services to Bangkok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Manila, Singapore and Yangon.

Norinda Khek, spokesman for Cambodia Airports confirmed that ANA had expressed interest in a Cambodia expansion.

“A team of ANA made a visit three months ago and had talks with our commercial and operations teams. At this point, we have no knowledge of their plan to service Cambodia any time soon,” Khek said.

Ho Vandy, co-chair of the Public and Private Sector Tourism Working Group similarly said ANA had been eyeing the Kingdom, but no official proposals had been made public.

“To be sure, if ANA does bring direct flights to Cambodia . . . it will increase Japanese tourism. Since 2005, Japanese tourists have been a big part of the tourism market and it is natural to assume there would be a non-stop service for them.”

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