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20th anniversary on London-Tokyo route

Virgin Atlantic announces code-sharing agreement with ANA

Virgin Atlantic and Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) are delighted to announce a new code-sharing agreement under which both carriers will offer more convenience and choice to travellers. From August 2009, passengers will be able to book with Virgin Atlantic to travel on ANA operated services between Tokyo and London, giving them more flexibility and choice of schedules on this popular route throughout the year.  Additionally passengers will be able to book with ANA to travel on Virgin Atlantic’s services between London and Tokyo.

The code-share was announced in Tokyo today at the British Embassy, where Virgin Atlantic President Sir Richard Branson was joined by Mr Keisuke Okada, ANA’s Executive Vice President of Alliances & International Affairs, in a “Kagami Wari” ceremony – a traditional way to celebrate new beginnings in Japan, which involves the ritual smashing open of a barrel of sake.

Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic said: “We are pleased to announce a code sharing agreement with ANA in this special year of our 20th anniversary on the London-Tokyo route. This agreement gives Virgin Atlantic’s customers even more choice of flights between London and Tokyo. We are sure that passengers will enjoy having more travel options as well as the excellent service onboard with both airlines.” 

Mr Keisuke Okada, ANA’s Executive Vice President of Alliance & International Affairs added: "We are delighted to announce the start of our code-sharing agreement in August this year. Between us we will offer our customers greater flexibility and choice when making their travel plans, and outstanding products that reflect the best of British and Japanese style.  Six years ago we tied up our Frequent Flyer Programmes in a move that benefited the loyal customers of both companies residing in either country. So this is a logical and long-awaited extension of an already successful friendship."

Virgin Atlantic and ANA first began working together in June 2003, when they entered a marketing partnership allowing ANA and Virgin Atlantic frequent flyers to accrue and redeem mileage on each other’s networks. Customers will also be able to accrue and redeem mileage on the new code-share flights.

Virgin Atlantic currently flies daily between London Heathrow and Tokyo Narita. Flight VS900 (NH6352) is operated by an A340-600 and departs Heathrow at 13.45, arriving into Narita at 09.30 the following day.   The return flight VS901 (NH6351) departs Narita at 11.30 arriving into Heathrow at 15.45 the same day.

Airline of the Year for 2007, ANA is the ninth largest airline in the world by passenger load (IATA ranking), carrying almost 50 million passengers every year to 51 destinations in Japan and 26 cities throughout Asia, Europe and the US on its fleet of 210 aircraft. Thanks to its membership of Star Alliance, the world’s foremost airline grouping, ANA passengers may enjoy access to a network of over 916 airport destinations in 160 countries, and reciprocal benefits such as mileage accrual and redemption and lounge access.

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