Struggling carrier Japan Airlines (JAL) is seeking to strengthen ties with fellow Oneworld member American Airlines (AA), ending weeks of speculation over its future.
JAL said in statement today (February 9) that it and AA will jointly apply for anti-trust immunity (ATI) on transpacific routes, ahead of a “joint business venture” between the two airlines that will see changes to their networks and flight schedules.
As reported on Business Traveller (see special report: JAL’s future), JAL had received offers of financial support from both its Oneworld partner airlines and those belonging to rival airline alliance Skyteam.
Delta Air Lines, a principle member of Skyteam, offered to bear the cost of JAL’s defection from Oneworld, thought to be around 30 yen billion (US$334 million) – see online news January 19.
The Japanese Government was said to favour JAL’s membership of Skyteam as a way of generating increased revenues, but the airline now appears to have made its decision.
“From hence forth, in addition to the joint business agreement with AA, JAL will also fortify its relationships with other partners in the Oneworld alliance,” the airline said.
JAL and AA will apply to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan (MLIT) for ATI approval on routes between the US and Japan.
Report by Andrew Gough