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Business

Japan's ANA airline to buy stake in Myanmar carrier

Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) has announced a major investment in Myanmar’s Asian Wings Airways. The plan is part of an ANA strategy to expand its business in the rapidly growing Southeast Asian market.

A Boeing 787 of All Nippon Airways takes off to Tokyo's Haneda airport, Japan, at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012. It is the first intercontinental flight of the so-called Dreamliner. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

All Nippon Airways (ANA) would invest $25 million (18.6 million euros) to acquire a 49 percent stake in Asian Wings Airways of Myanmar, ANA Holdings, which is the parent of the Japanese airline, announced Tuesday.

The investment was part of ANA's strategy of expanding into new international markets and would seek to enhance the Myanmar airline's performance as well as its outreach to markets abroad, the Japanese airline said in a statement.

“The acquisition of the stake in Asian Wings Airways (AWA) represents the first investment in a Myanmar-based commercial carrier by a foreign airline,” the statement added.

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Asian Wings is based in Myanmar's commercial hub of Yangon and operates domestic flights on 13 routes. In October, the carrier is scheduled to start operating international routes, including daily flights between Tokyo and Yangon.

Japanese companies are eager to tap business opportunities in Myanmar, which is beginning to open up after decades of isolation under military rule.

uhe/hc (AP, AFP)

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