All Nippon Airways has announced their latest international destination which will become the longest flight in their network. From 15 February 2017, the Japanese carrier will offer a daily service between Tokyo Narita and Mexico City.
This service will be operated using Boeing Dreamliner 787-8 aircraft. The carrier received their 50th Dreamliner in August, boasting the largest 787 fleet in the world.
This new route is huge for ANA. It is their 42nd international destination and will be their longest flight. This will be the ninth transpacific market the carrier has launched in the last five years and ANA break ground as the first Asian airline to fly non-stop to Latin America. This routing is currently offered by Aeromexico on a five times weekly basis.
Previously Asian carriers have flown to Latin America but on a one-stop fifth-freedom basis over American, European and Canadian cities. The fifth freedom allows carriers to carry revenue traffic between foreign countries as part of services connecting their own country. It gives airlines the right to carry passengers from their own country to a second country, and from that to a third country and so on.
Mexico signed free-trade agreements with more than 40 countries, which includes Japan, and is gaining attention as an attractive manufacturing and export hub. Japan and Mexico have similar business interests, particularly in the automotive industry. Japan’s automotive industry is one of the largest industries in the world and Japan is currently the third largest automotive producer in the world. Mexico’s automotive sector accounts for six percent of their national GDP and 18 percent of manufacturing production.
ANA CEO and president, Osamu Shinobe said: “We are proud to be the first airline to operate direct flights between Japan and Mexico to better serve the growing business and leisure demand between our two countries. We hope our flight will also contribute to a closer bilateral relationship, economic prosperity and cultural exchange.”
The ANA route is one of many international links due to begin at Benito Juárez International Airport in the coming months. Before the end of the year, Aeromexico Connect will serve Austin, Texas from Mexico City, Interjet will offer a link to Chicago O’Hare and new start-up Wingo will add a Bogota connection to the airport’s network.
The airport serving Mexico City is the busiest in the country, and the second busiest in terms of passengers. Last year, Benito Juárez International Airport was the biggest growing airport in Latin America by net traffic with an additional 4.5 million passengers.
A new International Airport is due to serve Mexico City in order to replace Benito Juárez which is operating at capacity. It is expected the airport will be commercially open during 2020.