ANA to relaunch Dreamliner with new routes
All Nippon Airways (ANA) has announced that it will resume Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights on 1 June 2013, with the aircraft to be deployed on three new international routes.
This summer, ANA will launch brand new Dreamliner flights from Tokyo Narita airport to Beijing and Shanghai Pudong, and from Tokyo Haneda to Taipei Songshan airport. These new services will take the total number of international routes operated by ANA’s Dreamliner fleet to six, in addition to Narita-San Jose, Haneda-Frankfurt and Haneda-Beijing.
“We are pleased to announce that our 787 aircraft will be reintroduced on scheduled flights from June onwards. ANA’s priority is the safety of our passengers. Our engineers have worked closely with Boeing to undertake the required improvements and we are fully satisfied with the safety of our 787 fleet,” said Osamu Shinobe, president & CEO of ANA.
ANA was the Dreamliner’s launch customer back in September 2011 and now operates the world’s biggest fleet of B787s, with 17 in service and a further 49 on order. It was forced to suspend all services in January 2013 after the battery aboard one of its Dreamliners overheated on a domestic flight, leading to the grounding of global fleet. But now it is ready to relaunch services in time for the peak summer season, following what ANA called the “successful completion of a series of battery system modifications, safety checks and test flights”.
The three new Dreamliner routes are the result of aircraft changes, rather than entirely new route launches. Haneda-Songshan and Narita-Pudong are currently served using B767-300 aircraft, while Narita-Beijing uses a B737-700.
The Haneda-Frankfurt route has been flown using a B777-200 since January 2013, but will now revert to the B787, as will the Haneda-Beijing service, which currently uses a B767-300. Two trans-Pacific routes – Narita-San Jose and Narita-Seattle – that were suspended after the Dreamliner grounding will now be relaunched. The San Jose flights will be operated by a B787 while Seattle will be served with a B777-300. The flights from Nagoya and Osaka to Seoul’s Incheon airport however, will remain suspended.
In terms of the domestic market, ANA will resume B787 flights between Haneda and Akita 1 June 2013 and between Haneda and Toyama on 15 June. It will then operate addition peak season flights to Okinawa from July onwards.
Ethiopian Airlines became the first airline to relaunch Dreamliner services on 27 April 2013.