All Nippon Airlines may upgrade its non-stop, all-business service from Narita to Mumbai, launched last September, with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner that it is due to take delivery next year. Currently it is using a 36-seat, Boeing 737-300 for the service.
"This is a trial route for us. If it continues to do well, we use the Boeing 787 on it," ANA CEO Mineo Yamamoto told media persons on the sidelines of the Star Alliance chief executives board meeting.
The Narita-Mumbai flight currently operates six days a week on the 9,000-km, nine-hour route, and very likely makes ANA the first carrier in Asia to offer business-class-only flights.
With the service, ANA steps into a trend recently set by Silverjet and Eos.
Yamamoto also said that ANA could not consider the New Delhi sector, as it did not have the permission to fly daily to India's capital.
The service was aimed at the business executives market now blossoming between Japan and India. The presence of 190 Japanese companies within India is ensuring a constant flow of business people travelling to India, as well as of Indians travelling to conduct business in Japan.
During the winter schedule (Oct. 28-April 30), the aircraft refuels at Nagasaki on the way to Mumbai. ANA will equip the 787 with an extra fuel tank as Mumbai is at the edge of its 9,000-km range.