ANA, Rakuten starts online JV

ANA and Rakuten the company behind Rakuten Shopping Mall, the busiest online shopping destination for Japanese consumers, announced a joint venture company to provide online travel services to the general public, on August 1 this year. The new company, called Rakuten ANA Travel On-line, will provide packages that customers put together themselves, combining any of ANA’s 900 daily flights with a choice of 20,000 lodgings, car rental and other services, provided by Rakuten Travel, Inc and ANA Sales Co Ltd, ANA’s tour operator subsidiary.

Both ANA and Rakuten groups enjoy the number one share in their respective markets: ANA is the largest domestic airline in Japan for passengers carried, and Rakuten has the largest share of online domestic accommodation bookings.

The new travel packages will be branded ‘ANA Raku Pack’ (‘raku’ meaning ‘easy’ or ‘fun’ in Japanese), and will be sold through the Rakuten Travel website from October this year.

ANA and Rakuten first joined forces in July 2004 with a joint loyalty programme allowing ANA Mileage Club (AMC) members to earn mileage using the Rakuten site, and members of the Rakuten Super Point Programme to earn points while flying ANA.

In this new development both companies will provide a variety of travel products on a single site that customers can build according to their individual needs and budget, in a move aimed at making the travel process ever more simple and convenient.