TOKYO -- All Nippon Airways (ANA) said Thursday it would buy 70 new planes worth $16.4 billion, with almost half from Airbus in move that marked a victory for the European aircraft maker as it tries to prise open the lucrative Japanese market.
The airline will buy 40 planes from Boeing (IW 500/14), its major supplier that has had a virtual stranglehold in Japan for decades, and 30 from Airbus (IW 1000/52) to increase its fleet ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a statement said.
The order includes 14 of Boeing's troubled Dreamliner as well as 20 units of the 777-9X, and six 777-300ERs.
ANA will also buy seven Airbus A320neo and 23 Airbus A321neo.
The aircraft will be delivered between 2016 and 2027 and will increase the size of the ANA fleet to 250 aircraft.
The new Boeing aircraft will serve mainly international routes. The Airbus aircraft will operate both overseas and domestic trips, ANA said.
"ANA Group's introduction of these new aircraft will help it respond to the needs of the increasing number of passengers expected to arrive in Japan in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and will support the Japanese government's plans to boost the annual total of foreign visitors to Japan to 20 million," the company said.
The orders, collectively the biggest in ANA's history, came as the airline aims to expand its international presence.
"The aircraft we have selected will enable us to modernize and expand our fleet further as we seek to become one of the world's leading airline groups," said Shinichiro Ito, president and chief executive of ANA Holdings. "These new aircraft will give us maximum flexibility and improved fuel efficiency and will allow us to meet the growth in demand, both internationally and in our domestic Japanese market."
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014