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All Nippon Airways Co. intends to boost profit at its 20.5 million-member frequent flyer program after adding twice the number of new cardholders as rival Japan Airlines Corp., which is under bankruptcy protection.
“We aim to increase profit every year,” Haruo Konishi, a manager in the airline’s loyalty marketing section, said in an Aug. 13 interview. The loyalty-card unit made a profit last fiscal year, when the overall carrier made a loss, he said, without elaboration.
Asia’s largest listed airline signed up 940,000 new frequent-flyers in the first half, 38 percent more than a year earlier, as it added new promotions and flew more passengers. JAL’s new enrollments plunged 26 percent in the period as it slumped into bankruptcy and slashed flights.
“People are worried about the stability of JAL,” said Yasuhiro Matsumoto, an analyst in Tokyo at Shinsei Securities Co. “It makes sense for them to shift to ANA.”
Members of frequent-flyer programs can usually earn points by flying with the airline or by spending money at the carrier’s partners. These points can then be redeemed for flights, hotel stays or other items. Carriers make money from the programs by selling points to partners and by boosting customer loyalty.
JAL added 370,000 cardholders in the first half, raising its membership to 23.1 million, it said.
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