ANA – All Nippon Airways (Tokyo) today launched its new Houston (Bush Intercontinental) route to Tokyo (Narita). The airport issued this statement:
Following a ribbon cutting and sake ceremony, the inaugural flight of All Nippon Airway’s (ANA) newest route bound for Tokyo Narita Airport, departed Houston George Bush International Airport this morning (June 12) – underscoring the global importance of the city of Houston.
A member of the Star Alliance and joint venture partner with United Airlines, ANA expanded its nonstop service to Houston, providing passengers with additional daily flights between Houston and Tokyo. Star Alliance members can now choose a morning or afternoon departure in each direction, providing greater flexibility for travelers, especially those taking advantage of ANA’s expanded service to other Asian and American destinations beyond Houston or Tokyo.
The Boeing 777-300 ER used for today’s flight was welcomed to the gate with an official water turret salute. The 250-seat passenger plane includes eight first class and 52 business class seats to accommodate travelers.
Today’s ceremony began with a Taiko Japanese drum performance by local group, Kaminari Taiko. Diaz and Shinobe each addressed the attendees, and they were joined by additional remarks from Jim Compton, United Airlines Vice Chairman and Chief Revenue Officer, and the Honorable Nozomu Takaoka, Consul-General of Japan in Houston and Bob Pertierra, SVP and Chief Economic Development Officer, Greater Houston Partnership. Also in attendance from the office of the Governor of Texas was Oliver Yang, there to present Shinobe with a proclamation. In a gift exchange honoring Texas and Japanese culture, Diaz presented Shinobe with a Stetson cowboy hat and Shinobe reciprocated with an ANA Boeing 777 model plane.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-381 ER JA778A (msn 32651) arrives at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT).
ANA aircraft slide show: