Japan’s ANA has returned to operating profit sooner than expected, reporting a small profit for its third quarter.  

The owner of All Nippon Airways and Peach Aviation said ANA Group made a profit of JPY 0.1 billion ($871,622) in the three months to December 31, 2021. It had initially expected to return to profit only in the fourth quarter of its financial year.  

ANA cited strong cargo, recovering domestic demand and cost controls as reasons behind the third quarter performance.  

“"We have adjusted our practices, but our commitment to offering unparalleled service and convenience remains unchanged. As the recovery continues, the ANA Group will continue seeking opportunities for growth and expansion with increased profitability," chief financial officer Ichiro Fukuzawa commented in a statement on February 1, 2022.  

On the freight side, ANA introduced a B777F for services to Hong Kong, Taipei, Qingdao. It also used passenger aircraft for cargo-only flights to North America. Cargo revenues in the third quarter reached JPY99.3 billion ($0.86 billion), a record high for the fifth consecutive quarter.   

ANA said domestic passenger volumes and revenue for the third quarter at low-cost unit Peach Aviation (October-December) exceeded pre-COVID levels. “Peach will continue to closely monitor signs of recovery in demand to further expand the network,” it said. However, international routes at the low-cost carrier remain suspended. 

At mainline brand ANA, domestic passengers and revenue recovered to the highest levels since the start of the pandemic, albeit at 50% of pre-COVID levels. 

However, despite the earlier than expected return to profit in the quarter, the group is not updating its financial targets for the full year.  

ANA said it still expects operating revenues of JPY1,060 billion ($9.2 billion) in the 12 months to March 31, 2022 and an operating of JPY125 billion ($1.09 billion) 

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Japan’s ANA says it does not now expect to make an annual profit after COVID-19 outbreaks hit demand in the first half