Benefits for fashion industry, EPA provides tailwind

All Nippon Airways (ANA) will launch direct flights between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Malpensa Airport, Milan, starting with the summer 2020 schedule. The nonstop service to Milan, a major textile hub, promises a range of benefits for the fashion industry, such as increased convenience of air cargo.

Kiyohisa Nakazawa
Vice Predident of ANA Cargo inc. , Cargo Marketing & Services Europe, Middle East & Africa


In terms of air freight destined for Japan from Europe, Italy is the third-biggest country of origin after Germany and Norway. On this route, transport lead times have been long because flights from Italy require transit points like Munich and Frankfurt. And, many shippers and forwarders have been calling for a reduction in lead times. Not only is the direct service expected to greatly improve travel time, it should also improve the convenience of domestic shipping due to the use of Haneda Airport as the hub.

ANA’s European passenger services are characterized by their capacity for large freight volumes. In addition to shipping high-density freight such as textiles, the airline aims to increase volumes of seasonal, high-value apparel products by harnessing the high quality of its freight operations. The direct service will offer flexible and quick air freight including offers of space to match changes and transport of urgent samples.

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Japan and the EU took effect in February 2019, eliminating tariffs on textiles and apparel. According to the Japan Textiles Importers Association, textile imports from Italy have risen 3.5% (on a monetary basis, using preliminary figures for January to October 2019).

In future, in addition to increased demand for textile imports from Italy, the airline is aiming for a rebound in air cargo demand from the wider region such as southern France and Switzerland.