Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) said it will operate 95% of pre-pandemic domestic capacity in the March 2023 quarter and more than half of its 2019 international capacity levels during the same three-month period.
Leisure demand is driving the recovery in domestic passenger volumes, while a significant relaxation of border restrictions in October has increased international traffic. International business travel to and from Japan has also risen.
ANA increased its flights at Tokyo Narita (NRT) in the six months ending Sept. 30, its fiscal first half, to accommodate demand for transit flights between North America and Asia. Flights were increased at Tokyo Haneda (HND) as well, to cater to improving Japanese demand.
However, services to mainland China are limited due to its continuing border restrictions. Flights to Europe are hampered by the war in Ukraine, which is causing ANA to avoid Russian airspace.
ANA predicts that group domestic passenger totals (including subsidiary Peach) will average 90% of pre-pandemic levels in the fiscal third quarter, which ends Dec. 31. Fiscal fourth-quarter domestic passenger numbers are expected to be 95% of 2019 levels.
Meanwhile, international passenger numbers are forecast to improve to 40% of pre-pandemic levels in the 2022 December quarter and then to 55% in the 2023 March quarter.
Based on the surge in demand, ANA significantly increased its earnings forecast for the year ending March 31, 2023. The carrier now expects to reach a net profit of ¥40 billion ($269 million) for the year, compared with its earlier forecast of ¥21 billion.