Japan’s ANA invests in Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines and ANA (Photo courtesy of Philippine Airlines)

Japan’s largest airline, ANA Holdings Inc. is investing $95 million (P4.9 billion) in the holding firm of Philippine Airlines (PAL), the Philippine flag carrier said on Tuesday, January 29.

PAL Holdings said the parent company of Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) will acquire 9.5 percent of the company’s outstanding shares as well as shares from the Trustmark Holdings of tycoon Lucio Tan, the largest shareholder of PAL.

“We are honored and excited that a premier airline group such as ANA HD has decided to purchase shares in PAL Holdings. The Philippines and Japan have a long-standing relationship with complementary strengths,” PAL Holdings President Jaime Bautista said.

Following the announcement, shares in PAL Holdings jumped 92 centavos or 7.03 percent to close at P14 apiece on Tuesday while the Philippine Stock Exchange index was down 0.04 percent.

PAL, according to Bautista earlier this month, “has always been open to the possibility of a strategic investor” to help boost its operations.

“We’re targeting first half of this year…Up to 40 percent stake, that’s the maximum that we can offer. As per the law, foreigners can own only up to 40 percent,” he said.

Currently, PAL operates 84 flights weekly on nine routes to Japan. ANA, meanwhile, operates 14 flights weekly on two routes to the Philippines.

Codeshare operations on Japan-Philippine routes and domestic routes within both countries were made by the two carriers, linking a total of 16 Japanese and 11 Philippine destinations.

“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,” ANA Holdings President Shinya Katanozaka said in a statement, adding that this relationship with PAL will help them “serve our passengers even better.”

PAL’s target this 2019 is to increase its passenger volume to 19 million, which is about 12 percent higher than the 17 million passengers the airline said it ferried in 2018.

The Filipino carrier also said it aims to be a certified five-star carrier by 2020.

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