Japan's ANA in fleet expansion ahead of 2020 Tokyo Olympics

ANA planes on tarmac Japan's largest airline, ANA, is preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a fleet upgrade

All Nippon Airways (ANA) will spend $16bn (£10bn) to expand its fleet in anticipation of a rise in travel demand when the capital city Tokyo hosts the Olympic Games in 2020.

The purchase is for a mix of 30 planes from European manufacturer Airbus and 40 from US aircraft maker Boeing.

It is a record order for Japan's biggest airline as it embarks on an expansion plan.

ANA is also expecting a big pick-up in travel demand in six years.

'Modernise'

In the lead up to the Olympics, the Japanese government has laid out plans to boost the annual total of foreign visitors to Japan to 20 million.

In a statement ANA said the aircraft will be delivered between 2016 and 2027 and will increase the size of the airline's fleet to 250 aircraft.

Shinichiro Ito, ANA's president, said "the aircraft we have selected will enable us to modernise and expand our fleet further as we seek to become one of the world's leading airline groups.

"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."

Rivals

In addition to 20 Boeing 777-9X jets, the order includes 14 Dreamliner aircraft.

ANA also placed orders for A320neo and A321neo jets from Airbus.

The Airbus planes will be placed on both domestic and international routes.

Meanwhile the Boeing aircraft will be assigned to fly mainly on international routes.

The new order is a relief for Boeing, which lost a major deal from Japan Airlines to arch-rival Airbus last year.

The US company has a stronghold in Japan's commercial aviation industry, with a market share of more than 80%.

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