All Nippon Airways andã€€First Eastern Investment Group today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement to establish the first Japanese low cost airline. The new airline will operate both international and domestic short-haul routes out of Kansai International Airport, Osaka. The new airline will operate independently from ANA.
The new company will be established in the second half of 2010 with Japanese investors holding a 66.7% stake of which ANA will hold a 39% stake and First Eastern will hold the remaining 33.3% stake, the maximum foreign ownership currently allowed for an airline in Japan. The new companyâ€™s air transport operations are expected to commence in the second half of 2011.
Shinichiro Ito, President and CEO of ANA, said, â€œUnder 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.â€
Victor Chu, Chairman and CEO of First Eastern said, â€œI 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 twenty 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.â€
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