ANA International Logistics Hub to end Saturday shipping and suspend flights from Qingdao and Xiamen to improve profits

ANA International Logistics Hub to end Saturday shipping and suspend flights from Qingdao and Xiamen to improve profits

ANA Cargo’s International Shipping Network


August 24, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo


All Nippon Airways (ANA) announced on August 23 that it would be stopping 20 Saturday overnight flights which depart from their international logistics hub at Naha Airport as of October 29 due to insufficient cargo loads.

These routes, which gather cargo planes in the early hours of the morning at the hub, will be rescheduled as weekday flights.

Also, 10 weekly flights that carry cargo from Qingdao and Xiamen in China bound for the U.S. will be re-directed to Narita Airport.

Cargo flights departing from Naha Airport will be reduced to 28 per week, as part of ANA’s efforts to improve the profits of their international shipping business by reorganizing their cargo routes.

Since Naha Airport is within four hours of most major metropoles in Asia, and its 24-hour operations allow for a high level of freedom with scheduling, one of its major strengths is in high-speed deliver, since good can arrive in the evening and be delivered to their destination by the following morning.

As an international logistics hub, the airport has routes to four domestic and nine international airports, and services 120 flights over a six-day week.

Of course, many businesses do not operate on Sundays, so there are few benefits for gathering packages on Saturday for high-speed delivery.

Since the cargo-load on Saturdays is relatively small compared to weekdays, the decision was made to suspend the Saturday flights.

The routes from Qingdao and Xiamen were deemed inefficient and unnecessary, due to small cargo loads and the fact that many of the U.S. bound flights still needed to make a stop at Narita or Haneda Airports.

ANA plans to increase the number of flights that connect at Narita from Qingdao and Xiamen in their efforts to increase the efficiency of their shipping business.

Naha Airport’s cargo volume increased significantly when they began operating as ANA’s international hub in 2009, shipping 176,000 tons of cargo internationally, the fourth-largest amount for an airport in Japan behind Narita, Kansai, and Haneda Airports.

However, the air traffic out of Okinawa failed to meet initial expectations, and the operation never managed to reach profitability.

A representative from ANA Cargo, which oversaw the international shipping operation, noted, “The importance of Okinawa as the hub which connects destinations in Japan with the major Asian metropoles has not changed,” and explained that their policy would be to continue to maintain the sustainability and to strengthen Naha Airport’s shipping capabilities.


(Translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)


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