Most of the airline's international service is based at New Tokyo International Airport in Narita, Japan. The domestic service is mostly out of Tokyo International Airport in the ward of Ota in Tokyo, Japan.
ANA, which now ranks among the world's largest airlines, had humble beginnings, as, for the first few decades, the company was only a domestic operator. In February of 1953, helicopter service was started and soon after passenger charter flights followed. 1955 saw the beginning of a new and profitable ANA route when Osaka was added from Tokyo with an inaugural cargo flight. That same year, the legendary Douglas DC-3 plane began flying for Japan Helicopters and Aeroplane, and in 1957, the airline changed its original name to its current name of ANA. In 1958, tragedy touched ANA for the first time, when DC-3 JA5045 crashed. Better news came later that year when Far Eastern Aviation, a small competitor, merged with ANA, leaving the airline's total capital at 600 million Yen.
The 1960s was a period of slow but unstoppable growth for the company, when they added the Vickers Viscount to the fleet in 1960, and later Fokker F27s, in 1961. Another setback was suffered when another DC-3 JA5018 was lost in 1960. 1961 marked ANA's debut at the Tokyo Stock Exchange as well as the Osaka Security Exchange. 1963 saw another merger, this one with Fujita Airlines, raising the company's capital to 4 billion yen.
In 1965, ANA finally introduced jet services with Boeing 727s. The new members of ANA's fleet were soon joined by YS-11s.
1966 saw another tragedy. A Boeing 727 of ANA was landing in Tokyo when it crashed on the waters of the Tokyo Bay, with the loss of all passengers. Another tragedy, this time a crash of a YS-11, followed soon after.
The 1970s saw the beginning of ANA's internationalization. February 3 of 1971 in particular was a historic date for the airline, when ANA inaugurated its first international service, a charter flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong. In March of that year, another Boeing 727, registration number JA8329, suffered an accident. The Lockheed L-1011 was introduced in 1973 and Boeing 747's in 1978.
During the 1980s ANA's movement towards reinforcing their fleet with jet airplanes and towards internationalization continued. Boeing 767's came to Tokyo to work for ANA in 1983, and in 1986, ANA's executives saw their dream of making of ANA an airline with regular international service materialize, when ANA started regular passenger service from Tokyo to Guam. Soon after, many cities such as Frankfurt, New York, Los Angeles, London and Paris were added.
ANA continued its expansion of services all over Asia, North America and Europe during the 1990's, and Airbus equipment such as the A320, A321 and A340 were added to the fleet, as was the Boeing 747-400 jet. In 1994, ANA started service to Kansai International Airport and in 1999, it joined the Star Alliance group.
After the September 11 tragedy of 2001, an ANA 747 flying from Washington D.C to Tokyo became the first plane to fly in the United States once the grounding of all planes in US territory was declared over by President George W. Bush's government.
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2 Other facts of interest