British Airways and Japan Airlines will launch their joint business on October 1, with the two carriers sharing revenue on flights between Europe and Japan.
The Oneworld member airlines received anti-trust immunity for the joint venture earlier this year (see online news May 28), and say that the move “will benefit customers by providing better links between Europe and Japan, greater choice of flights to more destinations, enhanced frequent flyer benefits and the potential to launch new routes”.
BA and JAL will now co-operate on all non-stop flights operated be either of the two carriers between Europe and Japan, including 19 weekly services between the UK and Japan, as well as JAL’s flights to Paris and Frankfurt.
The carriers will also look to enhance and expand their codeshare network beyond their respective hub cities.
BA customers now benefit from onward codeshare agreements within Japan to destinations including Kansai, Okayama, Izumo, Okinawa, Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Kagoshima, while JAL passengers can now book codeshare flights to cities including Belfast, Helsinki, Frankfurt and Gothenburg.
The websites of the two carriers will also allow bookings, online check-in and flight information on these routes, irrespective of which airline the passenger is travelling on.
And while members of BA and JAL’s frequent flyer schemes have long enjoyed reciprocal Oneworld benefits, top tier members of both programmes will now have the opportunity to earn bonus points on applicable flights on either airline.
The joint business will also benefit from JAL’s new seats being available on the Tokyo Narita- London route from next year (see online news September 13).
The agreement follows the news that BA and Qantas will cease their long-standing joint business on March 31 next year (see online news September 6).
Report by Mark Caswell