TOKYO, Japan – All Nippon Airways (ANA) said Tuesday, August 27 it would acquire a 49% stake in a Myanmar airline, the latest foray into the potentially lucrative Southeast Asian market that is rapidly opening up.
“ANA Group will invest $25 million (2.5 billion yen) for AWA (Asian Wings Airways) as part of its stated strategy of expanding into new international markets,” ANA Holdings – the parent of one of Japan’s major airlines – said in a statement.
“As part of the investment, ANA will also work with AWA to improve its operational and on-time performance and support its expansion into markets outside Myanmar,” the company said.
“The acquisition of the stake in AWA represents the first investment in a Myanmar-based commercial carrier by a foreign airline,” it said.
“ANA intends to capture an increasing share of the fast-growing Asian airline market and this investment in AWA will support that strategic goal,” it added.
Shares in ANA Holdings fell 0.47% to 208 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Tuesday after reports of the deal. The formal announcement came after the Tokyo bourse closed, with the benchmark Nikkei index having shed 0.69%.
Asian Wings, based in the commercial hub of Yangon, operates domestic flights connecting 13 cities. It will begin an international service this October. – Rappler.com