ANA Holdings is expanding its reach into the business jet market, teaming with Sojitz (Chalet 14) to form a private jet charter operation, ANA Business Jet, and separately signing a memorandum of understanding with Honda Aircraft (Chalet 15) that will involve the use of the HondaJet on certain flights, particularly in the Japanese market.
The ANA/Sojitz venture will provide direct flights from Japan and flights that connect to scheduled ANA services bound for North America and Europe. The new ANA Business Jet will leverage ANA’s network of 85 routes to 43 cities along with Sojitz’s expertise in the private jet industry. Sojitz, a Japan-based conglomerate, provides business jet sales, maintenance, and operations services. It represents Bombardier Business Aircraft and Boeing BBJ in Japan and offers Bombardier Globals and Gulfstreams for charter.
In addition to connecting with ANA flights and providing direct charter flights, ANA Business Jet will provide concierge services such as ground transportation, hotel, and restaurant arrangements to passengers.
The MoU with Honda Aircraft, meanwhile, forms a strategic partnership that the companies say is designed to expand the private jet market in Japan. Such an expansion has long been a goal of Honda Aircraft, which has held demonstration tours there even when the company did not have immediate plans to sell the HondaJet into the market.
The companies did not detail any potential sales or leasing arrangements involving the HondaJet, saying only that ANA will introduce business jet users and its commercial flight customers to the HondaJet on charter and feeder flights. Honda Aircraft will support these operations, including establishing a ground support framework at various ANA transit locations.
"Through this strategic partnership and use of the HondaJet, ANA will create new demand to utilize business jets, in particular for travelers of various Japanese entities who value convenience and privacy in their overseas travel," said Shinya Katanozaka, ANA president and CEO. ANA expects to begin the charter and feeder flights this summer.
Such an arrangement between an airline and a business jet manufacturer is not unprecedented. Last year Japan Airlines (JAL) partnered with Dassault Falcon Services, a subsidiary of Dassault Aviation, to connect JAL passengers who fly from Tokyo to Paris to other destinations throughout Europe and Africa.