Japan air boss urges JAL-Delta alliance

13 Aug 2009

Japan’s civil aviation chief has called on national flag carrier Japan Airlines (JAL) to expand code-sharing agreements with other international airlines and in particular with US giant Delta/Northwest Airlines.

The move would boost passenger traffic without the cost of operating new routes, Ryuhei Maeda, director general of the transport ministry’s Civil Aviation Bureau, said.

JAL is heavily in debt and the airline, it is argued, would benefit most from code-sharing with Delta Air Lines, the world’s largest carrier. Delta recently acquired Northwest Airlines, which is the biggest overseas carrier at Tokyo’s Narita airport, the country’s main international gateway.

The Tokyo-based carrier, which already code-shares with American Airlines, is cutting international routes as a result of the economic downturn.

JAL joined the Oneworld code-sharing alliance, which includes American Airlines, two years ago, while Delta is a member of the SkyTeam partnership.

In September, All Nippon Airlines and US Airways will begin a major codesharing agreement, see news.

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Kenny Coyle

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