ANA (All Nippon Airways) President and CEO Yoji Ohashi said during a meeting of Star Alliance chief executives in Tokyo: "For many years, millions of Japanese tourists have traveled overseas, while the number of foreign visitors to Japan has been relatively small by comparison.

"The Japanese Government has made the decision to be more aggressive in attracting overseas visitors by promoting Japan as a value destination for sophisticated travelers with a wide variety of interests. The Star Alliance is pleased to support this effort on a global basis, and we at ANA, as Japan's leading airline, are proud to be a part of it."

The initiatives developed by Star Alliance include: a Star Alliance Visit Japan fare from overseas; a Visit Japan Pass for domestic flights for travelers arriving in Japan on Star Alliance carriers; a special frequent flyer bonus miles offer for a limited period in 2004; and a program designed to assist tour wholesalers in developing new Japan packages.

More detailed information on the Star Alliance Visit Japan Campaign will be provided closer to the April 2004 launch date.

In 2001, 4.8 million foreigners visited Japan, making it 35th in the world in the number of overseas visitors. The goal of the "Yokoso Japan" campaign, which is being supported by a promotional budget of JPY2 billion ($18 million) from the Japanese government in the fiscal year ending March 2004, is to increase the number of overseas visitors to Japan to 10 million by 2010.

"The scope and breadth of this international program is something that only Star Alliance - the largest and most integrated global network - can offer Japan," said United Airlines chairman, president and chief executive officer Glenn Tilton. "United is proud to have worked with ANA and the other Star Alliance carriers in the development of this initiative, which will bring many new visitors to Japan."

The Star Alliance Visit Japan Campaign 2004 includes seven initiatives created in support of a wider communications program designed to reach hundreds of millions of potential travelers to Japan. By using all 15 carriers' sales teams, frequent flyer programs, in-flight magazines, on-board video systems and websites, each Star Alliance carrier will tailor the way they represent Japan to make it most relevant for their customers.

In detail, the seven initiatives are:

Star Alliance Visit Japan fare offer
During 2004, all Star Alliance carriers with flights to Japan will introduce special fares to encourage more visits. This means our customers will save money on getting to Japan and on domestic flights when they get there.

Sales Blitz events
The Star Alliance carriers will combine their sales forces in Star Alliance markets to promote Japan together. The goal is to promote Japan as an attractive tourist destination. Activities will range from giving information to travel agents to special seminars and promotions.

Supporting the development of new tour products
The Star Alliance carriers in cooperation with MLIT (Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transportation), Visit Japan Organization and JNTO (Japan National Tourist Office) will support the development of new tour products. The goal is to facilitate visits to Japan by tour wholesalers in order to develop unique tour products for sale in their home countries, which will result in a wider range of specially branded offers to stimulate customer demand.

Star Alliance frequent flyer bonus offer
Star Alliance is the only airline alliance that offers travelers special frequent flyer bonuses to all of its members. Customers enjoy additional opportunities to get more bonus miles with the Star Alliance carrier frequent flyer program they belong to. We intend to introduce a special bonus mile offer on flights to Japan for a limited period in 2004, in conjunction with select airfares.

Star Alliance Visit Japan Air pass
In 2004, our customers will get more when traveling to Japan with the introduction of the "Star Alliance Japan Air Pass". As an example, when they fly into Japan on the Star Alliance network, they'll be given the option to buy an air pass, priced at JPY 11,000 (US$100) per sector, based on a minimum of two, and a maximum of five, sectors. The air pass will offer excellent value, as well as being flexible and convenient.

Star Alliance cultural exchange event
Star Alliance will launch a worldwide travel essay contest for children, in cooperation with a Global Media partner. This is a great opportunity to combine education and fun. Children will be asked to write about Japan to be entered into competition. This will give the children and their family, the chance to win a free trip to Japan to participate in a cultural exchange with Japanese children. The winning essays will be published in the airlines in-flight magazines as well as in our global media partner publications.

Star Alliance sweepstakes
One way to raise awareness of Japan is to combine information about Japan with a competition to win free, all-inclusive, trips. Star Alliance has already carried out similar promotions on-board our flights.

NOTE: The content of all Air New Zealand media releases are accurate at the time of issue, as stated at the top of each release. For updates on any changes, please contact Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Aegean Airlines, Air India, Brussels Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 19,500 daily flights to 1,071 airports in 171 countries.

For more information about Air New Zealand visit www.airnewzealand.com and for more information about Star Alliance visit www.staralliance.com.