Air Transport World

ANA President and CEO Yoji Ohashi.(Interview)

In Tokyo

* How has the JAL/JAS merger changed ANA's competitive environment?

Before the merger, the ratio [of flights] between ANA and JAL was one-to-one, but after the merger JAL had almost twice as many flights as us on the main routes, which meant we weren't competitive. As slots are very tight at [Tokyo] Haneda, we decided to concentrate on our main routes. We suspended five local routes and we reduced frequencies on three others. We put all of our efforts into the profitable main routes, almost matching [JAL's] frequencies. As well as competing with them on volume, we have also competed with them on quality. For example, we have improved the schedule on the Tokyo-Osaka routes--departures are now on the hour and the half-hour, easier for our customers to understand. We have improved service as well. Yields did go down 4.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, but at the end of the quarter the unit prices started to go up and second quarter yield was up about 6%. …

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