ANA To Launch Tokyo-Brussels Service

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Japanese airline ANA announced, today, that it would begin service between Tokyo Narita and Brussels starting with its Winter 2015 schedule, “subject to the approval of the relevant authorities“.

I’m going to assume that ANA wouldn’t be making this announcement if it wasn’t already pretty sure that approval from “the relevant authorities” was just a rubber stamping exercise so this will increase the number of European cities ANA services to 6.

ANA already operates European services (out of either Narita or Haneda) to Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, London and Paris – the heavy bias towards Germany is down to a Joint Venture Agreement ANA has with Lufthansa (a fellow Star Alliance member) – so an additional, non-German destination is welcome.

ANA 777-300 Frankfurt airport

An ANA 777-300 landing at Frankfurt Airport – Image courtesy of Aero Icarus

Why Is This Announcement A Good Thing?

On the face of it this may not seem like that much of an exciting announcement but this could prove to be a nice bonus for European and UK travellers.

Competitive Prices

There have been more than a few great business class fare sales from Europe to Asia in the past 18 months and more competition can only increase the chance of more of the same. Business class flights out of the UK can be considerably more expensive than departures out of other EU countries (thanks to APD) so more flights out of the EU could benefit UIK travellers who are prepared to position themselves to fly out of another EU country.

Premium Cabin Travel

ANA has very highly regarded premium cabin products so anything that gives passengers more opportunities to try them out can only be a good thing.

ANA Business Class Food

ANA Business Class dining is highly regarded – image courtesy of Kent Wang

We don’t yet know what aircraft ANA will be using on this route but I suspect it will be a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Back in January of this year ANA down-gauged their flights from Tokyo to Paris from a 4-class 777-300ER to a 3-class 787 (eliminating 1st Class from the route) and I can’t see their new Brussels route warranting 1st Class any more than Paris.

I just hope it won’t be their 787-9 which features just 18 Business Class seats and no Premium Economy seats at all – this is the aircraft ANA just started flying to Munich.

ANA 787-900 Seat Plan

Click to Enlarge – ANA Boeing 787-900 Seat Plan courtesy of Seatguru

Even if it is to be this aircraft and, if I’m honest I suspect it will be, there will be a few silver linings. The ANA 787-900’s are fitted with an upgraded in-flight entertainment system which allows passengers to watch broadcast TV in real time and gives passengers “access to a choice of free digital content including e-books and e-magazines.

While the aircraft type is pure speculation on my part the quality of ANAs service is definitely fact and anything that adds quality competition to European routes is, to my mind, a positive.

Stay posted for more news on they route as ANA makes further announcements.

Featured Image courtesy of zaimoku_woodpile


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