All Nippon Airways (ANA) added a Boeing 777 freighter to its fleet today, as it expands its network in Asia and North America.
The 777 will operate connecting cargo flights from Narita International Airport (NRT) to Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), with a stop at Kansai International Airport (KIX) from July 2 to August 25. The carrier will add a direct cargo flight from NRT to PVG beginning August 26.
The company is continuing with its plans to expand in China despite the country’s simmering trade war with the U.S., a senior executive at ANA confirmed to sister publication Cargo Facts. This is also despite ANA’s 24% drop in airfreight volumes to China year-over-year in its first quarter of 2019.
The new freighter is one of two 777s that ANA ordered from Boeing last year. The first arrived in June at Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND). The aircraft can transport heavy cargo, such as aircraft engines, vehicles and semiconductor manufacturing equipment. The added 777s can also transport more delicate cargo, like lithium batteries and pharmaceuticals.
“These 777Fs are significantly larger than the Boeing 767F models used to ferry cargo in Asia, giving ANA additional flexibility in how the aircraft are used,” ANA President Toshiaki Toyama said.
The company also plans to add large-scale cargo flights to its North America network in October, with 777s carrying items from NRT to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). Cargo traffic between China and the U.S. is a major market for the carrier and adding ORD to its network marks the beginning of trans-Pacific operations with ANA’s own aircraft. The carrier already offers capacity to North America through codeshare and block space agreements signed with Nippon Cargo Airlines last year.