All Nippon Airways (ANA) Group is to make increased use of cargo capacity on passenger flights at Naha Airport in Okinawa, Japan.

    The company said it was strengthening international logistics operations at the airport and creating a new model for the Okinawa International Aerial Logistics Hub.

    ANA said the network expansion was necessary to meet “growing needs around Asia as demand increases from a rise in e-commerce and delivery of other products”.

    ANA executive vice president and ANA Cargo president Toshiaki Toyama commented: “Global logistic networks and supply chains have significantly changed over the past few years, which is why ANA is working to evolve our approach so that we can, in partnership with Okinawa Prefecture, continue to serve emerging needs and meet demand.

    “Building on our longstanding relationship with Okinawa, we look forward to the success that this new network model approach brings to better connect Japan to global markets.”

    Okinawa International Aerial Logistics Hub is primarily serviced by ANA freighters, but specialised freighter operations were suspended as a result of Covid-19, with the suspension continuing in FY2021. ANA Group is therefore shifting the operating model to utilising passenger-cargo space of aircraft operating at Naha Airport, including Peach Aviation flights.

    ANA Group said it would sign contracts with other airlines to oversee the management of bellyhold cargo space. ANA will also operate freighters between Okinawa and the Tokyo area (Haneda/Narita) “to maintain the logistics supply chain until global conditions allow for the resumption of international flights”.