Japan's ANA To Buy 49 Pct In Burma's Asian Wings Airways

By Tim Kelly & Edmund Klamann 27 August 2013

TOKYO — Japan’s ANA Holdings Inc will buy a 49 percent stake in Burma carrier Asian Wings Airways as part of a strategy to expand overseas by investing in airline related businesses, an industry source familiar with the agreement said.

ANA will pay US$30.45 million for the stake, the Nikkei business daily reported earlier. The two carriers may announce the deal later Tuesday, the source said on condition he was not identified.

Rangoon-based Asian Wings, which began flying in 2011, operates three turboprop ATR 72 regional aircraft and one Airbus A321 on domestic flights in Burma. The airline plans to begin international service in October with a flight between Rangoon and Chiang Mai, Thailand, the Nikkei said.

A spokesman for the Japanese carrier declined to comment on the reports, saying it had not announced the acquisition. ANA resumed flights between Tokyo and Rangoon last October after a 12-year hiatus.

ANA last year raised $1.6 billion in a share offering to fund purchases in airline related businesses focused in Asia. The company this year established an investment firm in Singapore to coordinate its acquisitions.

ANA acquired Pan Am Holdings from fund American Capital Ltd for $139 million in July, giving it ownership of Pan Am International Flight Academy, a pilot training school.

In addition to leasing aircraft to Asian Wings, ANA may also provide training to its pilots, the Nikkei said.