All Nippon Airways’ (ANA) parent company ANA Holdings has acquired a 9.5 per cent stake in PAL Holdings, the parent company of Philippine Airlines, for US$95 million (£72 million).

ANA is buying the shares from Trustmark Holdings Corporation, which is PAL Holdings’ largest shareholder.

The company says the purchase fits in with its FY2018-2022 strategy of expanding its international group network and strengthening its partnerships with foreign airlines.

Shinya Katanozaka, president and CEO of ANA Holdings, said: “Asia is a key growth market and we believe Philippine Airlines is in an excellent operational position to capitalise on both the strong uptick in air traffic growth as well as the vibrant, expanding Philippine economy. We look forward to expanding our business relationship with Philippine Airlines so we can continue to serve our passengers even better.

Jaime J Bautista, president of PAL Holdings and Philippine Airlines, added: “We are honoured and excited that a premier airline group such as ANA Holdings has decided to purchase shares in PAL Holdings. The Philippines and Japan have a long-standing relationship with complementary strengths. This week, in fact, we commemorate the 70th year of Philippine Airlines’ service to Japan, dating back to the launch of our first Manila-Tokyo flight on 26 January 1949. It is a great privilege to celebrate this historic occasion by strengthening our ties with ANA as we aim to build a relationship that is mutually beneficial with an eye to a more progressive future.”

The news comes as ANA Holdings announces the expansion of its ANA and Peach fleets with an order for 48 aircraft. The purchase includes 30 B737 MAX 8s and 18 Airbus A320neos. Deliveries are scheduled from 2021 to 2025.

ANA claims the move makes it the first Japanese airline to purchase the B737 MAX 8, which is more fuel efficient.

The airline has seen operating revenues increase by 5.2 per cent in the nine months to 31 December, which it attributes to an upswing in Japan’s economy, as well as strong demand for travel to the country from international markets.

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