"Japan Ultra Fresh Air Transport" Launched


Japan Ultra Fresh Air Transport, which was created through the ANA Group Employee Proposal System, has begun operations on April 1, 2022.

It will support producers together with the ANA Group and contribute to the regional revitalization through the fastest delivery of carefully selected products from all over Japan to consumers.

Connecting producers and consumers through the fastest delivery with the highest priority on freshness

Japan Ultra Fresh Air Transport is a start-up company that was proposed by one ANA employee who wanted to "deliver the true value of agricultural products to consumers" through the ANA Group Employee Proposal System in FY2019, and was realized after two and a half years of examination and verification with many supportive members.

For more information about Japan Ultra Fresh Air Transport (Only in Japanese)

Cherry tomatoes, snap peas, and cauliflowers are on display. The cherry tomatoes have a pop-up sign that reads "ANA Flight 630 - Cherry Tomatoes from Kagoshima Prefecture".
Fresh vegetables directly from the production area are sold in supermarket.

By using airplanes to transport agricultural products and seafood from their production areas to major consumption areas, mainly the metropolitan area, at a speed of as little as six hours, unprecedented speed, the value of freshly picked agricultural products and seafood can be delivered to consumers.

With conventional logistics, it takes approximately three to four days from the production site to the consumer's point of purchase. In order to change this trend to one that focuses on the value of freshness as the most important factor, the company plays the role of directly connecting producers and retailers in a system of logistics called the "Sanchoku Model" (Direct Delivery Model), which coordinates the entire logistics process from production area, wholesale, air transportation, ground transportation, retail, and consumer in a single system.

As an intermediary, the company provides information and coordinates logistics for producers and retailers.

By having producers personally transport their fresh products to the nearest airport and utilizing the empty cargo space on commercial airplanes, small-lot agricultural products that have not been part of the existing logistics system, rare products that are not readily available in the metropolitan area, and excellent products that lie in the countryside can also be handled.

Revitalizing the community by supporting producers

Bright red ripe tomatoes hanging from a branch
Iwakuni brand "Yuu Tomato"

There are many brands of agricultural products that we do not yet know about because they are produced in small quantities or are consumed only in the region due to their limited ripeness.

One such variety is the "Yuu Tomato" produced in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. It is not produced in large quantities and has been difficult to obtain in the metropolitan area until now, due to the difficulty of long-distance transportation of the fully ripened products. By making such products available in many stores through the Direct Delivery Model of logistics, this will lead to the possibility of increased income for the producers.

Producers have commented that it has been their dream to display their products in Tokyo, and that they are happy to hear that their products, which were limited to the region, have reached the metropolitan area and that they are delicious.

It is also expected that interest in the area of production will lead to greater interaction and migration of people to the region.

Interview with Mr. Mayuo Kinoshita, President of Japan Ultra Fresh Air Transport

We interviewed President Kinoshita, the originator of Japan Ultra Fresh Air Transport, about the trigger for the employee proposal and his vision for the future.

Photo of Mr. Mayuo Kinoshita, President of Japan Ultra Fresh Air Transport
Mr. Mayuo Kinoshita, President of Japan Ultra Fresh Air Transport

What triggered the employee proposal?

My family is a grape farmer, and I have always thought that freshly picked grapes taste the best and I wanted many people to enjoy them fresh.
When I thought about what ANA could do, I began to wonder why the existing logistics system takes so long to deliver fresh grapes when it takes only a short time to deliver them as the passenger's belongings on an airplane. There are many products in Japan that cannot be delivered through the existing market logistics, such as those with the highest priority on freshness or in small production quantities, and I wanted to use the cargo space of ANA's passenger aircraft to deliver such products and build bridges with the local community to enliven the region. I then applied for the employee proposal because I thought that as an airline, we should not only sell cargo space, but also go out and grab the things we carry by ourselves.

What did you have to break through before establishing the new company?

We have conducted about 20 verification experiments, and it was really difficult to put an idea into actual operation. We spent a lot of time finding producers and retailers who would be willing to participate in the verification experiments, and getting them to understand the significance of this project. We started with a small retail store by asking people we knew. Although not a retail store, we even had a singer use our morning fruit for dessert served at a dinner show.

What are your future prospects?

The first is to increase the number of retailers who handle our products, and the second is to increase the number of events at which we currently sell our products, such as at supermarkets, so that we can sell them on a daily basis. Ultimately, we would like to support the producers by having more of their products handled, thereby contributing to the regional revitalization.
Each product has its own unique brand. We would like people to get to know and be interested in products that are unique to the area and, if possible, to eat them freshly picked locally. They really do taste completely different!
We hope that this Direct Delivery Model will lead to higher income for producers and become one of the tools to enliven the community.

ANA Group and Japan Ultra Fresh Air Transport will continue to work together to contribute to regional revitalization.

SDGs No.11 Sustainable cities and communities