ANA’s transpac cargo JV with United gains antitrust approval

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has received antitrust immunity from the Tokyo regulator for the Japanese carrier’s transpacific cargo joint venture with US-based United Airlines (UA).
This second strategic tie-up follows ANA’s similarly approved joint venture with Germany’s Lufthansa Cargo on Japan-Europe airfreight routes, which went live in September 2014.
ANA applied in November 2014 to the Japanese government for antitrust immunity to “enable ANA and UA to create a more efficient and comprehensive transpacific air cargo business network”.
While Lufthansa Cargo and ANA both operate substantial freighter fleets, United does not but instead has significant bellyhold capacity.
Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has now granted antitrust immunity for the ANA-UA joint venture.
In a statement, the two carriers said: “This antitrust immunity and any additional government approvals, enables ANA and UA to jointly manage activities covered by the air cargo joint venture – including network planning, pricing, sales, and handling – on specified transpacific routes.
“This cargo joint venture is the first of its kind between Asia and the Americas, and would generate substantial service benefits for freight customers including an expanded network, greater capacity and expedited transport.”
ANA and United are also members of the Star Alliance airline grouping, and this cargo joint venture will “expand their existing relationships while providing valuable benefits to the customers”.
Lufthansa is also a member of the Star Alliance.

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