ANA serves up “Taste of Japan” campaign

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is launching a new campaign called “Taste of Japan”.

The aim of the initiative is to raise the profile of Japan’s lesser-known prefectures by serving their regional dishes on ANA flights and at airport lounges. From June to August, the regions of Shizuoka, Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be featured. Some of the dishes to expect are:

Kinmedai from Shizuoka

As one of the most popular fish in the Shizuoka prefecture, the Kinmedai (Splendid alfonsino) is simmered and served with shrimp on a bed of Koshihikari (a type of short-grained rice) from Gotemba, located at the foot of Mount Fuji. This dish will be served in business class on select international flights.

Awayukikan made with lemons from Hiroshima

A traditional Japanese dessert that is famous for its unique sensation that feels like ice melting on your tongue. Made from a blend of jelly and the juice of lemons from Hiroshima. This will be available in ANA lounges at Haneda and Narita Airports.

Cold Nyumen noodles from Nagasaki

A special seasonal dish, the noodles are hand-cut and produced in Shimabara, Nagasaki, made from carefully chosen flour with high protein content. Available at DINING h, in the ANA Suite Lounge at Haneda Airport.

For more information, visit www.ana.co.jp

Clement Huang

ANA to increase Narita–San Jose frequency

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has announced that it will increase the Dreamliner service between Narita, Tokyo and San Jose from five a week to daily starting July 10.

The aircraft, configured with 46 business and 112 economy seats (for a review of economy, click here), departs Narita at 1735 and arrives in San Jose at 1110 local time. The return flight leaves at 1305 and lands in Narita at 1610 the next day.

The increase is due to the growth in demand for flights connecting Asia and North America.

ANA began resumption of Dreamliner services on June 1 (see story here), and has since re-launched daily flights between Narita and Beijing, and a twice daily Haneda and Songshan, Taipei service.

The airline also plans to use the aircraft three times daily between Narita and Pudong, Shanghai from August 1 onwards. The B787 will replace the B767 and B777-200ER currently used on this route, but the schedule will remain the same.

For more information, visit www.ana.co.jp

Valerian Ho

ANA’s B787 experiences landing gear fault

ANA’s Dreamliner was prompted to make a second landing approach at Okayama Airport after a reported glitch in the landing gear, which was linked to a hydraulic valve issue. No flights were cancelled as a result of the incident, but the subsequent flight NH654 on the B787 from Okayama to Haneda was delayed for about two hours.

This incident comes less than two weeks after the 787 Dreamliner made its inaugural passenger flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong on October 26 (see story here). 

According to a spokesperson from ANA, during the NH651’s approach for landing, an alert message on the cockpit displayed mechanical incidents for the landing gear. Pilots proceeded to deploy a manual backup system, and the aircraft touched down safely, albeit 27 minutes behind schedule. There were 241 passengers on board the flight, none of them was harmed in the incident.

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific was told by an ANA spokesperson that while the landing gear glitch is not a common problem, it is not a severe issue by industry standards. As of now, the cause of the malfunction is still unclear. Boeing is investigating the situation.

“ANA expects and is fully prepared for minor mechanical incidents which do not affect the operational safety of the B787. As a launch customer of the Dreamliner, we believe that it is our responsibility to tackle those issues with Boeing one by one in order to make the B787 a better operating aircraft,” said the spokesperson.

ANA completed the repair work of the aircraft on November 6 and it resumed operations on November 7 to fly from Haneda to Hiroshima.

For more information, visit ana.co.jp

Tiffany Sandrasageran

 

The big picture: Inside ANA’s new B787 Dreamliner

Business Traveller is given onboard access to the launch carrier’s new B787 Dreamliner, before it flies to Japan.

All Nippon Airways’ first Dreamliner will be used for short-haul routes so is configured with angled lie-flat business class seating instead of the fully-flat ones it will be using for its long-haul services. Economy class seats have a 32-inch pitch, as opposed to 34 inches on its long-haul versions.

As you can see from the seat plan here, business class occupies the front two rows in a 2-2-2 (A-C, D-G, H-K) layout. Economy is across rows three to 34 and is in a 2-4-2 (A-C, D-E-F-G, H-K) configuration.

Note, though, that the seats do not recline – instead sliding forward to give the impression of leaning back. This will pose problems for taller people, particularly as the legroom is already restricted.

Instead of fitting conventional windows with shades to block out light, the “electrochromatic” glass can be dimmed to near black in about 90 seconds. But while this almost entirely blocks out sunshine, you are still able to see out. Windows can be controlled individually by yourself, or in blocks by the cabin crew.

ANA has chosen to install one combined toilet/bidet on this flight, as well as standard washrooms, and Boeing’s redesigned over-head bins slide out smoothly, more space for baggage. The higher ceiling and blue mood lighting contribute to a feeling of space, along with a wider galley at the far end, and a bar area behind business class.

Report by Jenny Southan

Look out for a full report on the Dreamliner in-flight experience in our November edition of the magazine.

SPECIAL REPORT: Boeing’s first B787 Dreamliner delivered to ANA

Business Traveller reports on the long-awaited handover of the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner to ANA at a ceremony outside its Everett factory.

If you didn’t catch it live online yesterday, a rainy morning 40km north of Seattle, Washington, saw hundreds of Boeing employees turn out to celebrate the launch of the Dreamliner.

At 9am PDT (5pm UK), those without umbrellas sheltered beneath the wings and fuselage of All Nippon Airways’ first B787, with a giant screen broadcasting pre-recorded interviews with representatives who have worked on designing and building the plane.

Speeches from both the aircraft manufacturer and the airline then followed. The weather didn’t manage to dampen enthusiasm, and even after three years’ delay, the Japanese carrier’s CEO and president Shinichiro Ito, looked genuinely pleased to have the giant golden ceremonial key to the wide-body aircraft handed over to him by Boeing’s commercial airplanes president and CEO Jim Albaugh.

Jim McNerney, Boeing chairman, president and CEO, said: “Today we celebrate a significant moment in the history of flight. The 787 Dreamliner is the biggest innovation in commercial aviation since the Boeing 707 introduced the world to passenger jet travel more than 50 years ago.” Albaugh added: “What ANA and Boeing have done together [is] build what truly is the first new airplane of the 21st century.”

ANA and Boeing completed the contractual delivery of the B787 on Sunday September 25, and at 6.35am PDT (2.35pm UK time) today, the carrier will fly it home to Tokyo Haneda airport. (Visit newairplane.com for a live webcast of the flyaway.)

At a press briefing after the signing on Sunday, senior vice-president of ANA, Satoru Fujiki, was keen to assert there were no hard feelings towards Boeing, but declined to comment on how much the delays on delivery had cost it in financial terms.

“We have been awaiting the arrival of the B787 for over three years so I can’t say that didn’t have any impact but actually ANA and Boeing have been working very closely to mitigate the impact of the late delivery by taking alternative deliveries of B767s and B777s,” he said.

So will the Dreamliner, which costs around US$185 million per plane, prove a good investment? Fujiki said: “The B787 is considered a medium-size aircraft but it can travel more than 52 per cent further than a similarly sized B767, while using 20 per cent less fuel. This brand new aircraft presents a new business opportunity for us to open new routes that would not have been viable before and gives us the chance to expand our network.”

He went on to highlight how new design features in the “carbon-composite” (not to be confused with plastic, Boeing added) aircraft will also improve the in-flight experience for travellers. “The Dreamliner has set a new standard for customer comfort with higher humidity, and windows that are 30 per cent larger. The automatic control system reduces vibrations and produces a smoother ride. We are also using specially designed noise-reducing engines by Rolls Royce for a quieter flight,” he said.

He added: “Our passengers are our top priority and the many benefits that the Dreamliner can offer help ANA meet our goals of being number one [carrier in Asia] in terms of customer satisfaction, quality and value creation. We believe that the B787 is a win-win, not only [does it provide] value to customers with a good in-fight experience but also as a sound business strategy in terms of efficiency and cost-savings for the airline.”

ANA will operate the Dreamliner on a chartered service between Tokyo Narita to Hong Kong on October 26. A regular domestic service will then commence on November 1 on Tokyo Haneda-Okayama and Haneda-Hiroshima routes.

All Nippon will introduce its first international service in December, starting with Haneda-Beijing, followed by a new route between Haneda and Frankfurt from January 2012. Fujiki said: “ANA will take delivery of 12 Dreamliners during fiscal year 2011 and eight more [by spring 2013]. In total we will take delivery of 55 B787s by the end of 2017.”

Visit ana.co.jp, boeing.com.

Report by Jenny Southan

Look out for a full report on the Dreamliner in-flight experience in our October edition of the magazine.

Boeing rolls out ANA’s first Dreamliner

ANA’s first B787 Dreamliner aircraft has left the paint hangar, sporting a special launch livery and featuring 264 seats in a two-class economy and business class configuration.

The aircraft was unveiled at Boeing’s factory close to Seattle on Friday, and is set to be delivered to ANA in September. It features a short-haul configuration with 252 seats in economy and 12 in business class, and will initially operate on a charter international flight between Tokyo and Hong Kong, before being rostered onto domestic routes from Tokyo Haneda to either Okayama or Hiroshima.

As reported by businesstraveller.com last month, the launch aircraft features a special livery “signifying the core element’s of ANA’s service brand – innovation, uniqueness and the inspiration of Japan”.

The carrier will also offer a regional configuration on later deliveries, featuring 180 seats in economy and 42 in business class, and a long-haul version with 112 economy seats and 46 fully-flat staggered business class seats.

Respected aviation news website flightglobal.com was at the unveiling of the aircraft, and posted the videos above to YouTube, including a walk through of the aircraft, and a demonstration of the Dreamliner’s dimmable windows.

For more information visit boeing.com, or click here to visit ANA’s “We Fly 1st” Dreamliner microsite.

Report by Mark Caswell

ANA’s first 787 service will be Haneda to Okayama or Hiroshima

Japanese carrier ANA says the first scheduled flight featuring its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft will take place from Tokyo’s Haneda airport to either Okayama or Hiroshima.

Test aircraft ZA002 arrived in Tokyo over the weekend, and is currently conducting validation flights at five airports across Japan – Haneda, Osaka (Itami and Kansai), Okayama and Hiroshima.

ANA is expected to take delivery of its first Dreamliner in either August or September, and has a total of 55 of the aircraft on order.

Last week the carrier revealed details of the Dreamliner’s interior and seating products, along with a special livery which will feature on the first two 787 aircraft delivered to ANA – for more information click here.

Visit ana.co.jp.

Report by Mark Caswell