In news from Frankfurt, it appears that Japan carrier ANA is negotiating a deepening of it’s relationship with Lufthansa. In October of 2011, ANA initiated a tie-up with Lufthansa Airlines and now seeks to expand the relationship to include tie-ups with Lufthansa Group members Swiss, Austrian and Brussels Airlines.

The relationship that currently exists between Lufthansa and ANA creates coordinated timetables and revenue sharing opportunities for both carriers. ANA claims that this relationship has led to a 170 percent increase in transfer traffic in Narita as passengers from Europe use Narita as their gateway to China.

According to Lufthansa an agreement can be in place as soon as April 1.

I like the move for both sides. Lufthansa gains a marketing advantage over its European competitors by increasing their reach within Asia without using substantial resources, and ANA in return can continue to evolve as a premier airline by being able to reach more European destinations for its Asia based clientel.

As far as Star Alliance (of which both are members) is concerned, this move helps them compete better against oneworld, who seems to have a stronghold on the Asian markets with American Airlines, JAL, Cathay Pacific and Qantas.

It looks like we’ll see more new ANA 787 Dreamliners at airports throughout Europe in the near future!