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TOKYO: All Nippon Airways (ANA) has filed an application with the MLIT (Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) for antitrust immunity to enable ANA and United Airlines operate a trans-Pacific air cargo network.

ANA says the joint venture - the first of its kind between the U.S. and Asia - would generate substantial service benefits for freight customers and enable the two airlines compete more effectively in both markets.

UA Cargo On receiving Japanese and U.S. regulatory approval, United and ANA say their new business venture will cover scheduling, pricing and sales and allow them to offer customers a greater selection of routings and cargo space along with a wider range of service options. No date has been announced for the start.

In September ANA and Lufthansa Cargo received approval from MLIT and the European Commission to launch a joint venture linking Japan and Europe with the first westbound service due to begin on December 01. European-originating services will follow by mid-2015 says ANA.

The two airlines also say their joint venture will benefit customers by generating a greater selection of routings – and in this case a wider range of service options including the use of single cargo terminals in Narita, Nagoya, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt. Customers are expected to "profit from a larger and faster network with more direct flights, more destinations and more frequencies," says ANA.

ANA, United and Lufthansa are members of the Star Alliance and have extensive bilateral relationships for their respective passenger business. The same could happen with all three airlines for cargo.

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