News

JAL and BA get green light for joint business

28 May 2012

Japan Airlines (JAL) has received approval from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to be exempt from antitrust laws in relation to a joint business agreement with International Airlines Group (IAG), owners of British Airways (BA).

Details have yet to be finalised, but the deal will allow JAL to cooperate with British Airways (BA) on flights between all its European destinations and Japan, resulting in benefits for its passengers.

Terms of the deal are expected to include revenue sharing, frequent flyer benefits, schedule synchronisation and launching potential new routes.

Both JAL and BA are members of the Oneworld alliance, so passengers have already been able to enjoy the benefits of the reciprocal frequent flyer plans, but the joint business will allow more options and opportunites to earn miles as well as periodic promotions on certain routes, said a JAL spokesperson.

The joint business venture will also allow the adjustment of flight schedules, so the airlines can optimise flight connectivity, as well as make transfer and EU-Japan travel more convenient for passengers. 

Such benefits are expected to come into effect before March 2013, and the results will be similar to those implemented in the joint revenue scheme JAL struck with American Airlines last year, see story here.

“Just as our customers travelling over the Pacific have gained from the joint business between JAL and American Airlines which began last April, we expect the closer relationship with British Airways to also provide the travelling public between Europe and Japan with greater convenience and options,” the chairman of JAL Masaru Onishi said.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh believes this will also facilitate the recovery of Japan’s aviation industry, saying: “We have very close links with JAL and look forward to enhancing that relationship further. Despite the difficulties the Japanese aviation market has faced in recent years, we have great confidence in JAL’s business outlook and the overall market’s future prospects.”

For more information, visit www.jal.com

Alex Andersson

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