Singapore Airlines (SQ, Singapore Changi) and ANA - All Nippon Airways (NH, Tokyo Haneda) signed a Joint Venture (JV) agreement on January 31 which will deepen ties between the two Asian carriers, a joint press release said. The strategic partnership, which is still subject to regulatory approval, will provide enhanced connectivity and boost traffic at the carrier's respective hubs.

The JV goes beyond the two airlines' existing partnership that focuses on codeshares, mileage programmes, lounge access, and coordination on check-in baggage and connecting flights. Once approved, the agreement will allow ANA and Singapore Airlines (SIA) to strengthen their cooperation on services between Singapore and Japan, as well as in key markets like Australia, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

“This proposed joint venture underscores our commitment to the important Japanese market and our valued partner ANA,” said Goh Choon Phong, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SIA. “Through this partnership, customers would be able to enjoy increased flight frequencies and travel convenience, and access the strong connectivity at both the Singapore and Tokyo air hubs, while enjoying the industry-leading products and services ANA and SIA are renowned for.” SIA has existing JVs with Air New Zealand (NZ, Auckland Int'l), Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) and SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK, Copenhagen Kastrup). In addition, it has also applied to form a joint venture with Malaysia Airlines (MH, Kuala Lumpur Int'l).

“ANA is excited about strengthening its ties with Singapore Airlines, a fellow Star Alliance member that shares our passenger-oriented philosophy and has also distinguished itself as a true global leader in service and convenience,” said Yuji Hirako, President and CEO of ANA. “We have worked closely with Singapore Airlines for many years and we are excited to take this partnership one step further. The joint venture will help ANA and Singapore Airlines build upon their reputation for superior service, further differentiating both airlines from the competition.” ANA began JV partnerships with United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) in 2011 and Lufthansa in 2012.

JAL - Japan Airlines (JL, Tokyo Haneda) and Malaysia Airlines are planning to establish a joint business agreement (JBA) later this year after the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) and Japan`s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) both granted the tie-up antitrust immunity in December.

SIA currently operates a widebody-only fleet of 136 aircraft and ANA has an operational fleet of 268 aircraft, which includes three B737-500s and 24 Dash 8-400s operated by subsidiary ANA Wings (EH, Sapporo Chitose), according to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module. Tokyo Haneda is the largest gateway for ANA, with 30% of its weekly capacity, ahead of Osaka Itami (8%) and Tokyo Narita (6%).