All Nippon Airways (ANA) is investing $US95 million to take a 9.5 percent stake in Philippine Airlines’ parent company as part of a strategy to expand its group international network.
ANA said the stake in PAL Holdings, the parent of Philippine Airlines, was in line its mid-term corporate strategy to expand its international group network and strengthen partnerships with foreign airlines.
It said it would acquire the shares from Trustmark Holdings Corporation, owned by the Lucio Tan family and the largest shareholder of PAL Holdings.
It predicted the deal would “herald a new era of growth for PAL” and said it demonstrated its belief in the Filipino airline’s potential and the dynamism of Asia region.
“Asia is a key growth market and we believe Philippine Airlines is in an excellent operational position to capitalize on both the strong uptick in air traffic growth as well as the vibrant, expanding Philippine economy,’’ said ANA chief executive Shinya Katanozaka.
“We look forward to expanding our business relationship with Philippine Airlines so we can continue to serve our passengers even better.”
PAL president Jaime Bautista said the announcement came as PAL celebrated the 70th anniversary of its first Tokyo-Manila flight on January 26, 1949.
“It is a great privilege to celebrate this historic occasion by strengthening our ties with ANA, as we aim to build a relationship that is mutually beneficial with an eye to a more progressive future,” he said.
The board of ANA Holdings also voted Tuesday to order 30 Boeing 737 MAX ‘s and 18 A320neos to be delivered between 2021 and 2025.
ANA is the first Japanese airline to order the MAX 8 and the company said the decision was prompted by economic and aviation demand growth in Asia and emerging countries.
The airline has options for 10 additional MAX 8s and intends for the more efficient aircraft to succeed its current 737NGs.
It said ANA and low-cost offshoot Peach had each selected aircraft to fit their growth strategy but the markets to which they would be deployed had yet to be decided.
“The Airbus A320neo, which currently serves ANA international routes, was chosen for its excellent fuel efficiency and cruising performance to support Peach’s current strategy, ” it said.