Japan’s All Nippon Airways has placed an order for four 74-seat Bombardier Dash 8Q-400s, the first of which it plans to place into service next fall. The estimated $80 million deal will allow ANA to augment a 115-nm route between the western cities of Kochi and Osaka, where the group controls unused slots for propeller airplanes at Itami Airport. Slated for placement with ANA subsidiary Air Nippon Network, the four Canadian airplanes will arrive in Osaka by the end of 2004, by which time ANA plans to double the number of round trips on the route from seven to 14.
ANA’s investment in its short-haul network signaled the first reaction to the newly established Japan Airline Systems Corp., a holding company formed early last month that merged Japan Airlines and Japan Air System. The newly integrated group now boasts a domestic network nearly as large in size and scope as that of ANA, Japan’s leader for many years.
Bombardier has now placed 21 Q-series turboprops with five Japanese airlines, including Japan Air System subsidiary Japan Air Commuter. The Japanese launch customer for the Q400, JAC took delivery of its first 74-seat turboprop early last month. Based on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, JAC plans to replace its indigenous NAMC YS-11s with five of the Q400s on routes between the five remote islands of the Kagoshimi Prefecture.