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ANA orders jets worth billions from Airbus, Boeing

Last updated 08:42 28/03/2014

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ANA is ordering 70 aircraft with a list price of 1.7 trillion yen (NZ$19.19 billion) from Boeing Co. and Airbus, in the largest order in the Japanese carrier's history.

The orders underline ANA's ambition to become one of the world's leading airlines as well as Japan's tourism drive leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The country is aiming to boost overseas visitors to 20 million a year.

Boeing is the major beneficiary of the deal, but Airbus said the latest orders show it is making inroads in an important market. The Japanese government and manufacturers have historically had a close relationship with Boeing, and Europe's Airbus did not score a major order with ANA rival Japan Airlines until last year.

The jets, being delivered over 11 years from 2016, will increase the ANA fleet to 250 aircraft.

From Boeing, ANA is ordering 40 aircraft including 14 of its 787-9 Dreamliner.

The 787 was grounded last year while the plane's safety was checked for battery problems.

Also among the Boeing orders are 20 777-9X, a twin-aisle aircraft with 15 percent more seating capacity than the current 777-300ER aircraft.

ANA will also purchase six 777-300ER jets to support the expansion of its international services until the newer model arrive.

From Airbus, ANA is ordering 30 single-aisle jets from the A320 family made up of seven A320neo aircraft and 23 A321neo aircraft.

ANA said the 40 new Boeing jets will be used mostly for international flights, while Airbus planes will be for domestic routes.

"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," said ANA Holdings President and Chief Executive Shinichiro Ito.

ANA's business has recovered along with the recent Japanese economic revival, but the weakening yen has weighed on its operations by making fuel purchases more expensive.

Boeing welcomed its orders, which total about US$13 billion at list prices.

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- AP

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