oneworld welcomes Japan Airlines' move to join

26 October 2005

oneworldTM  has warmly welcomed the announcement by Japan Airlines (JAL) today that it is to seek membership of the world's leading quality global airline alliance.

JAL is the biggest carrier in the Asia-Pacific region. In terms of group revenues, it would become the largest member of oneworld. Using virtually all other measures, it would be in the alliance's biggest three, alongside American Airlines and British Airways.

Until today, Japan Airlines was the only one among the 20 biggest international airlines in the world (IATA members) not to have joined or sought membership of one of the three key airline groupings.

oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - Qantas, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, LAN, Finnair and Aer Lingus, besides American Airlines and British Airways, plus their 12 affiliates. Royal Jordanian is a member elect, and will start offering the alliance's services and benefits from around the turn of 2006/2007. Hungary's Malév signed a memorandum of understanding in May 2005 as its first step towards an invitation to join the alliance.

oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: "Japan Airlines would be an ideal fit with oneworld, as we have said often in the past. It is a high class carrier, with an excellent reputation for its customer service and management and an enviable network that complements those of our existing members.

"We are very pleased that it has recognised the value that membership of oneworld offers and look forward to working with Japan Airlines to complete the agreements, procedures and processes that are necessary before we can issue a formal invitation to join."

American Airlines will be supporting JAL through these tasks, as its prime oneworld sponsor, assisted by Cathay Pacific.

JAL would expand oneworld's existing network by around 10 per cent, adding 68 destinations - 56 of them in Japan and five in China. It would add one territory - Guam. oneworld's existing members currently serve 134 countries and 599 destinations. With JAL, Royal Jordanian and Malév, the oneworld map would extend to 686 destinations in 140 countries and territories.

JAL currently has extensive bilateral agreements with oneworld partners American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, LAN and Qantas.

Five of oneworld's existing partners operate to and from Japan - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair and Qantas - carrying some four million passengers last year on a combined schedule of almost 200 round trips a week. These link Tokyo Narita, Osaka Kansai, Nagoya Centrair, Fukuoka and Sapporo Chitose with direct flights to 13 destinations, including oneworld hubs Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Helsinki, Hong Kong, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York JFK and Sydney.

Japan Airlines serves oneworld hubs Chicago O'Hare, Hong Kong, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Singapore and Sydney.

About oneworld

oneworld enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the whole alliance network and access to more airport lounges.

Together, its existing airlines:

  • Carried more than 240 million passengers in 2004.
  • Provide top frequent flyers and premium passengers with some 400 airport lounges worldwide.
  • Operate more than 8,000 departures a day - an average of a departure or arrival somewhere around the world every five seconds around the clock - on a fleet of some 2,000 aircraft.
  • Earned almost US$60 billion in revenues in total in 2004, with oneworld activities generating one in every US$30 dollar earned by its member airlines from passenger services.

oneworld is the only alliance whose members achieved a collective profit in 2004 - some US$1.5 billion net, against combined losses by its two rival alliances of around US$10 billion.

It offers more alliance fare and sales products than any of its competitors, earning almost US$600 million for its member airlines in 2004, with the seven million passengers transferring between oneworld members generating revenues totalling US$1.6 billion in the year.

It has since April this year been the only alliance to enable customers to transfer between flights by all of its member airlines using electronic tickets.

oneworld has won more top international awards for airline alliances than both its competitors combined - voted the world's best airline alliance for the second year running by readers of Business Traveller magazine in its 2005 poll and named the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the second year running in the 2004 World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by travel professionals from 80,000 agencies in more than 200 countries.

About Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines serves 206 destinations in 34 countries and territories, in Asia, Australasia, Europe and the Americas.

With nearly 24,000 staff in the air transport sector, it operates a fleet of 284 aircraft, which last year carried almost 60 million passengers.

With the IATA two-letter code of JL, it operates some 1,140 departures a day. Its main hubs are Tokyo (Narita and Haneda) and Osaka (Kansai and Itami).


It reported net profits of JPY30billion (US$281million) for 2004, on revenues of JPY2,130 billion (US$20 billion).

Founded in 1951, it is a public company with its shares listed on the Tokyo stock exchange.


Pictures, logos and video

Pictures and logos of oneworld and its member carriers can be downloaded from

Pictures and logos of JAL can be downloaded from the news section at

A video b-roll, with broadcast quality shots of oneworld and its existing member airlines, is available from AirTime TV.  Contact Martin White on +44 7831 270534 or at