Volume 03, Issue 6
Still crossing bridges
How ANA has benefited from its relationship with Boeing
BY BRIAN D. WALKER
Motivational speaker and college basketball coach Rick Pitino is fond of telling people, "when you build bridges, you can keep crossing them."
Pitino's advice is well heeded. Over the years, Boeing has worked diligently to build working relationships with airline customers, laying foundations that have driven growth and profitability.
Consider the route charted by ANA (All Nippon Airways) and Boeing that dates back some 40 years, from the carrier's addition of 727 jetliners in 1964 to this year's launch order for the 7E7 Dreamliner.
This business relationship exemplifies how Boeing encourages a collaborative environment that helps airlines succeed. Keeping a communications bridge open and encouraging ongoing teamwork have become even more critical in today's competitive environment.
It's clear to see why ANA has put so much faith in Boeing airplanes. Since ANA first became a jet carrier, the airline's success has been directly tied to using the Boeing product and to working the Boeing solution into its daily operations.
Today, of the 182 airplanes in ANA's fleet, 137 bear the Boeing brand. Additionally, the airline has another 120 Boeing airplanes on firm order and continues to execute a plan for future growth.
The airline's management leaves little doubt that it sees even greater future opportunities with a modernized Boeing fleet.
"ANA's success in becoming one of the largest airlines in the world can be traced to a philosophy of seizing the moment when it arises," said ANA President and CEO Yoji Ohashi.
Among the examples Ohashi cited of how the airline seized key moments:
. ANA took the initiative and engaged Boeing to provide data and advice about how best to use its airplanes in order to achieve expansion goals when slots became tight on domestic routes. That brought about the 500-plus-seater 747 domestic model.
. The airline saw how the world of air travel was changing and began internationalizing operations in the mid-1980s.
. As it continued to internationalize, ANA looked for a new solution and turned to the Boeing 7E7.
Ultimately, it's not just airplanes, but the entire package of aviation solutions and global support that leads to strong Boeing customers-and helps both the airline and Boeing achieve future growth.
ANA's staunch faith in the 7E7 Dreamliner supports Boeing's own assertions about future air travel. "While we have found the 767 to be an efficient workhorse in our fleet, we're looking forward to the improved economics of the 7E7 family and the international, regional and domestic flexibility the airplanes will bring to our route planning," Ohashi said.
With more than 850 daily flights, ANA, which has been a member of the Star Alliance since 1999, is one of the world's top 10 in terms of passenger volume. ANA is now poised, in cooperation with Air China, to expand further into the emerging Chinese commercial aviation market, as well as other regions of the world.
When the first ANA 7E7 takes to the sky in 2008, airplane manufacturer and airline will observe the launch of a new era in commercial aviation from, figuratively speaking, a bridge they built together.
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