A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner of Vietnam Airlines. (Photo: www.airline.ee)
Japan’s All Nippon Airways Holding Inc. (ANA) has signed a deal to acquire an 8.77% stake in national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines for 2.43 trillion dong ($109 million), becoming a strategic shareholder in the latter.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who paid a three-day visit starting May 26 to the Northeast Asian country.
This is the first time ANA invests in an overseas airline and Vietnam Airlines’ first foreign investment.
Under the deal, the two airlines will jointly operate codeshare flights on 30 domestic routes in Japan and Vietnam as well as 10 international routes between the two countries.
ANA will send its representatives to sit on the Vietnamese airline’s board, and pledges to share its management expertise and provide technical assistance for the latter.
The Vietnamese government now holds some 95% stake in Vietnam Airlines, which raked in over $50 million from an initial public offering (IPO) in November 2014.
The airline, with a fleet of 89 airplanes including Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and Airbus A350-900 XWB, now flies to 20 domestic destinations and 29 international destinations. It operates 66 flights per week to Japan.
ANA currently has 240 jets in its fleet, and operates 88 flight routes. It is Japan’s largest airline in terms of sales and passengers.