All Nippon Airways, Japan’s leading airline serving 104 destinations and 209 routes, has proposed relaxation to Japan’s strict border controls.

All Nippon Airways © Andrea Ongaro / Travel Radar
All Nippon Airways taking off for its next flight | © Andrea Ongaro / Travel Radar.

Pandemic Implications

Since the start of the Omicron variant’s travel implications which began last year, Japan implemented one of the strictest border control policies to protect the country from the spread of the variant. This resulted in fierce criticism when they shut borders to foreign visitors and students, which has affected the country’s aviation industry and economic growth.

Yuji Hirako, who is the current President of All Nippon Airways, stated in an interview yesterday,

“There are various problems happening with the situation that foreigners can’t enter Japan, I hope for eased border controls for the sake of the Japanese economy.”

The border closures resulted in a negative net profit of over $3.6 million in 2020 – 21 for ANA, a certified 5-star airline.

Hirako continued, “Once the border control is relaxed, we will see more demand for business flights again.”

Easing of Border Controls

Daishiro Yamagiwa, the minister in charge of Japan’s COVID-19 response, stated recently that the government is looking to open the country’s border to “essential” foreigners and be more flexible towards travel restrictions.

According to Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Japan’s easing measurements will be announced next week.
With the carrier struggling with its business’s downfall due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has appointed a new Senior Executive Vice President, Mr. Koji Shibata. Shibata stated at a press conference that he’s aiming for a net profit in 2022 and hoping to end wage cuts that were introduced due to the pandemic. He added,

“I will raise income for the entire group by expanding ANA’s economic zone.”

Additionally, it has been announced that Yuji Hirako will be replaced by Shinichi Inoue on 1st April, with Hirako’s new role being Vice-Chairman.

What do you think lies ahead for Japan’s 5-Star Airline? Let us know in the comments below!  

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