Japan Airlines (JAL) chairman Masaru Onishi has confirmed that Perth is a “possible destination” for the Oneworld carrier next year.
According to The West Australian, plans for the route are now at an advanced stage, and will probably accelerate in light of the recent Paris terrorist attacks that have weakened JAL’s passenger traffic to Europe.
A potential direct link between the airline’s base in Tokyo and Perth would be great news for travellers, given that the current means of getting between these destinations is to connect via Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney with the flights to Perth operated by fellow Oneworld members Cathay Pacific and Qantas Airways.
JAL has offered non-stop flights to Perth in the past, which it did through a codeshare agreement with Qantas. However, the Flying Kangaroo was forced to cut the route in 2011 following its financial woes, thus severing direct links between the two cities.
Following steep financial losses in 2009, JAL underwent a heavy restructuring period over the following two years, cutting staff and slashing routes. Having overcome that hurdle (though it remains only the second largest Japanese airline), JAL is now looking to expand its international network.
The flights to Perth are likely to be served by the airline’s fuel-efficient B787 – it currently boasts 24 of these in its fleet, but it has another seven due to be delivered next year, and a further 34 on order.
For more information, visit jal.com