All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest airline, announced plans to order 20 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on January 29, as part of the company’s new growth strategy. ANA also placed an order for 18 Airbus A320neos to be used by its budget subsidiary Peach Aviation and confirmed that it had an option to purchase another 10 Boeing 737 MAX jets.
The announcement comes at a good time, with President Donald Trump recently increasing pressure on Japan to reduce its trade surplus with the US.
ANA’s order of Boeing’s latest 737 model is the first to come from Japan.
In a press release, ANA – which operates a mixture of Airbus and Boeing narrow-body jets – said: “The decision was based on the economic growth of Asia and emerging countries, with demand in the Asian aviation market and inbound demand on the rise. ANA HD and Peach Aviation Limited each selected its optimum aircraft to fit its strategy to further grow.”
With Japan’s industrial output decreasing in recent years, the order of the Boeing aircraft will come as welcome news to the country’s aerospace firms
With Japan’s industrial output decreasing in recent years, the order of the Boeing aircraft will come as welcome news to the country’s aerospace firms, such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Subaru, which currently build major portions of Boeing’s jets.
After the US agreed a trade truce with China, the US president’s crosshairs turned to Japan. In December 2018, Trump claimed: “I tell [Shinzō Abe] all the time that Japan doesn’t treat the United States fairly on trade: They send in millions of cars at a very low tax. They don’t take our cars.”
The Boeing purchase is a smart move by ANA. While the company vice-president Hideki Mineguchi said the deal “has nothing to do with trade friction”, it will undoubtedly impress the US president.
In addition, the involvement of Japanese companies in building Boeing jets will provide a boost for the domestic economy.