ANA’s ancestor was founded in late December, 1952, when Nippon Helicopter and Aeroplane was founded, using the same IATA airline code ANA has today, NH.
Nippon Helicopter and Aeroplane began helicopter services in February, and aeroplane flights in December, 1953, with the first scheduled flight flown by a Japanese pilot after the war in Japan.
Another ancestor of ANA was Far East Airlines, founded in December, 1952, but with the first commercial flights performed in January, 1954.
In March, 1958, Far East Airlines merged with Nippon Helicopter and Aeroplane. The name of the resulting company became All Nippon Airways.
In the following decade, ANA grew steadily, adding Vickers Viscounts, Fokker F27s to its fleet and introducing jet services in 1965, thanks to the Boeing 727.
On local routes, the Convair 440 was replaced with the home-grown YS-11 in 1965.
In 1971, ANA’s first international flight took off, connecting Tokyo to Hong Kong.
In 1972, six Lockheed L-1011s were purchased, entering active service in 1974, on the Tokyo-Okinawa route.
Boeing 747s joined the fleet in 1978, and Boeing 767s were introduced five years later.
On the 3rd of March, 1986, ANA started scheduled international flights with a passenger service from Tokyo to Guam.
New international destinations were added between 1987 and 1991, such as New York, Paris, Sydney, Seoul or London.
Airbus 320 and 321 aircraft, as well as the Boeing 747-481 joined the fleet in the early 1990s.
ANA joined the Star Alliance in October 1999.
In the following decade, ANA continued its expansion, setting up Air Next and founding ANA & JP Express (AJV).
Air Transport World named ANA its 2007 “Airline of the Year.”
In August 2009, thanks to an agreement between ANA and Mori Building City Air Services, ANA First Class passengers arriving back in Tokyo were offered a complimentary luxury helicopter ride from Narita Airport to the heart of Tokyo in just 30 minutes. Passengers were whisked by car from Narita Airport on a 15 minute drive to nearby Narita (Sakura) Heliport, from where it is a mere 15 minutes flight to Ark Hills Heliport in centrally located Akasaka, a cosmopolitan area that is home to multinational companies, embassies, major hotels and retail centers, and famed for its myriad of entertainment and dining options.
In November 2009, ANA announced the launch of exciting new products and services under the original brand concept “Inspiration of Japan,” starting from 2010, on its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, beginning on routes between Tokyo and North America and Europe. Under the “Inspiration of Japan” brand umbrella, ANA renewed its international products and services in the months and years ahead with the motto “Innovative, unique, and inspired by modern Japan.”
On September 9, 2010, ANA and First Eastern Investment Group, a pioneer of direct investments in China, announced the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement to establish the first Japanese low-cost airline. The new company will operate both international and domestic short-haul routes out of Osaka’s Kansai International Airport. The new airline started to operate, independently from ANA, in March 2012.
In September 2010, ANA decided to change 15 of its current orders for the Boeing 787-8 aircraft to the 787-9 model. ANA ordered a total of 55 Dreamliner. The 787-9 aircraft is an extended body version of the 787-8 model, appropriate for long-haul international routes, mid and short-haul. The aircraft will also meet the increasing need for 400 seat-capacity aircraft for domestic routes. Like the 787-8 model, it is a highly fuel efficient aircraft which will enable ANA to reduce operating costs and carbon dioxide emission.
In February 2011, ANA filed an application with the Japanese Government for antitrust immunity to launch a joint venture with Lufthansa on routes between Japan and Europe. The joint venture launched in 2012, allowing the two carriers to bring substantial benefits to passengers by creating a more efficient and comprehensive service across their networks.
On July 25, 2011, ANA operated its first revenue flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner as an international charter flight from Narita Airport to Hong Kong. Dreamliner’s inaugural service on a commercial basis took place approximately one month after the first aircraft was delivered to ANA. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner features a host of new technologies providing unparalleled levels of comfort to passengers. Customers will also benefit from bigger onboard luggage storage space, larger windows with electro-chromatic shades and more refreshing atmosphere within the cabin.
In February 2012, ANA has been awarded the ‘Airline Technology Leadership Award’ for 2012 by Air Transport World (ATW), the leading monthly magazine covering the global airline industry. ATW commended ANA for “its role in the development and refinement of the Boeing 787” and voted them this year’s Airline Technology Leadership award winners.
In June 2013, ANA resumed services with its Boeing 787 fleet, following the successful completion of a series of safety checks, test flights and battery system modifications. ANA also introduced the Dreamliner onto a further three international routes – Narita to Beijing and Shanghai and Haneda to Taipei – bringing the number of overseas destinations served by the 787 to five from June.
In April 2014, ANA, unveiled new flight attendant and customer service uniforms created by New York fashion designer Prabal Gurung, whose designs have been worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, First Lady Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga. The designs, which mark the 10th generation of ANA uniforms, reflect ANA’s modern, clean, and minimalist brand aesthetic and feature a combination of charcoal skirts and pants and light gray jackets, enriched with eye-catching accents of ANA’s trademark blue. To differentiate the uniforms, Gurung created brightly colored aprons and scarves that feature modern Japanese flower patterns.
On August 7, 2014, ANA became the world’s first airline to operate the new stretched version of the Boeing Dreamliner on domestic Japanese routes with the 787-9 variant of the aircraft. The 787-9 is expected to show lower operating costs and improved environmental performance as a result of even better fuel economy. Like the previous version, the 787-9 makes use of state-of-the-art technology to provide customers with a new level of in-flight comfort through innovations such as larger windows and luggage storages, improved cabin humidity and reduced discomfort from cabin pressure changes.
In 2015, ANA, the airline with the world’s largest Boeing B787 fleet, placed orders for three Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners, becoming the first airline in Asia to operate the entire family of 787 Dreamliners. Also in 2015, ANA placed orders for 15 Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), Japan’s first commercial airliner in more than 50 years, to be operated by ANA Wings.
In January 2016, ANA ordered three Airbus A380s, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. ANA will take delivery of the three superjumbos starting 2019 and will become the first Japanese airline to operate the A380. Also that year, ANA received its first A320neo aircraft from the total order of 37 aircraft of the A320 family (7 A320neo, 4 A321ceo, and 26 A321neo) which will gradually replace its existing single-aisle fleet.
In 2017, ANA remained the only 5-star rated airline in Japan being awarded the highest overall rating of 5-stars for the 5th consecutive year and, at the Skytrax World Airlines Awards, won the ‘World’s Best Airport Services’ award for the 5th consecutive year and the ‘Best Airline Staff in Asia’ award for the 3rd consecutive year and ranked 3rd in the top ten airlines.
In October 2017, ANA started to offer TSA Pre✔, facilitating a seamless travel experience for its customers departing from all nine ANA serving airports in the US.
In January 2018, for the second time in five years, ANA was today named the 2018 Airline of the Year by ATW (Air Transport World), the leading monthly magazine covering the global airline industry.
ANA’s first crash occurred in 1958, and the last deadly incident occured in 1999, when a man hijacked Flight 61, killing the captain, but was subdued by other crew members, and no other people were hurt.