photo by Giyu (Velvia)
Japan's All Nippon Airways, which has been experiencing increased pressure in recent years from growing low-cost carriers in Asia, has announced plans to launch a budget airline of its own. ANA is considering a joint venture with another Asian airline, and the new carrier could be flying as early as March 2009. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the airline would probably be based in another country in Asia - Japan is noted for higher labor and operating costs.
The planned startup also comes at a time when ANA faces increased competition at its hub at Tokyo's Haneda Airport, which is due for expansion in 2010. A spokesperson for ANA said that the budget airline wouldn't fly under the ANA name.