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ANA to replace JAL for maintenance of two government aircraft

All Nippon Airways (ANA) will replace Japan Airlines (JAL) as the company charged with maintaining two government aircraft, it was announced on Tuesday (Aug 12), following yet another battle between the domestic rivals.

TOKYO: All Nippon Airways (ANA) will replace Japan Airlines (JAL) as the company charged with maintaining two government aircraft, it was announced on Tuesday (Aug 12), following yet another battle between the domestic rivals.

A government commission also announced it had chosen two Boeing 777-300ER planes to replace two Boeing 747-400s as state-owned aircraft used by Japanese leaders and Emperor Akihito's royal family. The 747s will be decommissioned in March 2019. JAL has been charged with maintaining the current aircraft, which have been operating since 1993.

ANA has estimated the operational and maintenance cost of the two new planes at about 38 billion yen (US$370 million) over 20 years from April 2019, Jiji Press said. It has put their purchase price at about 85 billion yen.

Both companies fulfilled the requirements for maintenance of government planes, a government official was quoted by public broadcaster NHK as saying. "But after assessing such matters as the delivery time and cost in detail, we determined ANA had an edge," the official said.

It was the latest episode in the rivalry between the country's two biggest airlines. In February ANA lodged a complaint over JAL's application to launch a new route to Ho Chi Minh City from downtown Haneda airport in Tokyo.

The request came several months after Japan's transport ministry awarded twice as many Haneda landing slots to ANA compared to JAL, prompting threats of legal action from JAL which had earlier been rescued from bankruptcy by Tokyo.