United Airlines and Continental Airlines have entered a transpacific joint venture with All Nippon Airways (ANA), enabled by the US-Japan Open Skies agreement and antitrust immunity (see story here). The agreement will offer a wider network for all three carriers, seamless connections and benefits for their frequent flyers.
The revenue sharing agreement applies to 120 flights per week: US domestic flight segments on United or Continental, transpacific segments with ANA, United or Continental and flights within Japan on ANA.
The flight schedules have been aligned to allow seamless connections on both ends for passengers to reduce connection times, linking 295 US cities, 43 Japanese cities, and 11 routes between the two countries. Customers flying to and from other points in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean can also enjoy coordinated schedules.
Since the venture has been launched against the backdrop of a 9-magnitude earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis that devastated and crippled Japan, the transpacific joint venture between United, Continental, and ANA has a role in the economic recovery of the country.
“It is essential to have active and strong air transportation to develop the economy. In that sense, our venture can contribute to the reconciliation of Japan’s economy,” Ryosei Nomura, spokesperson for ANA commented.
The venture will also form a reciprocal relationship for frequent flyer members of United mileage Plus, Continental OnePass and ANA Mileage Club, enabling passengers to accumulate and redeem miles on routes operated by each carrier. Elite-level members of the United, Continental, and ANA frequent-flyer programs can accumulate bonus miles on any of the three flights.
As reported earlier on Business Traveller Asia-Pacific, the revenue sharing scheme between rival Japan Airlines (JAL) and American Airlines (AA) (see story here) also started on April 1, 2011, providing passengers with similar choices and benefits.