From Hangzhou to Japan: ANA Group Celebrates
20 Years of Connections ANA speaks with employees on how the Hangzhou gateway
has helped bridge culture and commerce for two decades

2024 / 03 / 29
From left to right: Hui Wang, Section Manager; Masafumi Owaki,
General Manager in Hangzhou; Xiaochen Chu, from Passenger Sales

In the latest installment of “A New Chapter of Flight”, we’re celebrating ANA’s milestones at various gateways around the world. Today, we’re departing for China, where ANA commemorates 20 years of service between Hangzhou and Japan.

Rich in history, culture and nature, Hangzhou is the capital and largest city in China’s Zhejiang Province.

Original design tote bags with handwritten messages from the Hangzhou team

On March 28, 2004, ANA operated its first flight between Osaka and Hangzhou. The following day, flights connecting Tokyo and Hangzhou commenced. Now, 20 years later, ANA operates three weekly roundtrip flights between Narita and Hangzhou.

In celebration of this milestone, the ANA Hangzhou team held a commemorative gate event on March 28 with decorations at the check-in counter and gate, as well as a gift for each departing passenger.

We spoke with Masafumi Owaki, General Manager in Hangzhou; Hui Wang, Section Manager; and Xiaochen Chu, from Passenger Sales, about their experiences as part of the ANA Hangzhou team.

When did you find your career path at ANA?

City Balcony at Qianjiang New City

Owaki: I began my career at ANA in Tokyo working in sales for international routes. In 2017, I transferred to the ANA Beijing office and in 2021, I joined the ANA Hangzhou team.

Wang: I became part of the team in 2004 while studying at a Japanese language school, where my teacher suggested I join ANA. In fact, I began studying Japanese because of my love for Japanese dramas.

Chu: I joined the ANA Hangzhou team in 2006 after graduating from university and my fascination with anime inspired me to study Japanese.

How would you describe the ANA Hangzhou team?

ANA Hangzhou Team

Owaki: Lively and very tight-knit, Hangzhou is a relatively newer destination compared to other gateways in China ANA serves, and our team has great synergy.

Wang: The team is filled with young talent and it’s my hope that we’ll continue to grow. It's the refreshing nature of Japanese culture that makes our team unique.

Chu: We have incredibly strong teamwork skills. We recognize team members with ‘good job’ cards and use words of encouragement, which helps us to grow as a team.

What makes Hangzhou unique as a gateway?

Owaki: A significant number of global manufacturing and e-commerce industries are headquartered in Hangzhou, so there’s a high demand for cargo operations.

Do you have any tips for visiting Hangzhou?

Longjing Tea Farm in Hangzhou

Owaki: A must-see attraction is the West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou, a breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be sure to also sample the locally grown Longjing tea.

Wang: Explore Hangzhou in the fall, when the entire city is immersed in the sweet floral aroma of osmanthus flowers.

Chu: I personally recommend visiting Lingyin Temple, a must-visit for lovers of history and culture.

Do you have any final messages to share?

Owaki: Hangzhou is a captivating city filled with charm and I hope everyone has the opportunity to visit. I want ANA to be passengers' top choice when traveling to Japan. As travel between China and Japan returns after the pandemic, I aspire for us to bring back full capacity and operate 14 weekly flights from Tokyo and Osaka.

Chu: We’re constantly striving to increase value for local customers and to maximize our team spirit. As awareness of Hangzhou increases, we want awareness of ANA to grow as well.

Beyond Hangzhou: Celebrating 10 Years of International Expansion from Japan

In another milestone, ANA Group celebrates 10 years since the expansion of international services from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. On March 30, 2014, ANA commenced flights to Vancouver, London, Paris, Munich, Hanoi, Jakarta and Manila, further connecting Haneda to the world.

The expansion of international flights from Haneda offers easier access to central Tokyo and domestic connections in Japan. ANA operates daily international flights from Terminal 2 and 3 at Haneda.