Tentative US approval for American-JAL joint venture welcomed07 October 2010
oneworld®, the leading quality airline alliance, has warmly welcomed the decision by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) tentatively to approve the application for anti-trust immunity lodged in February by its member airlines American Airlines and Japan Airlines for their proposed joint business between North America and Asia.
The DOT announcement came just hours after American Airlines formally launched its transatlantic joint business with oneworld partners British Airways and Iberia.
Subject to final approval by the US DOT - which is subject to the completion of the open skies agreement between Japan and the USA - and to the green light from Japan's Ministry of Infrastructure, Land and Transport American and JAL plan to launch their joint venture in the coming months.
Like the transatlantic equivalent, the joint business between American and JAL will deliver big benefits to consumers, with improved flight schedules and route choices, with the airlines more able to launch new routes and sustain existing services.
Under the new Japan-US open skies agreement, American Airlines will launch daily flights between New York FJK and Tokyo Haneda from 20 January, while JAL will start dailies between the Japanese capital's downtown airport and Honolulu and San Francisco from 31 October, with the two airlines code-sharing on one another's services.
Welcoming the DOT tentative decision, oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch noted: "Coming just hours after American, British Airways and Iberia formally launched their transatlantic joint venture, this is even more good news for oneworld in what is turning out to be a momentous year for our alliance. Coupled with the expansion in our membership, through the addition on Russia's S7 Airlines, India's Kingfisher Airlines and Germany's Air Berlin, it strengthens oneworld's position still further as the world's premier alliance, enabling us to offer even more benefits, services and value to our customers, making their travel worldwide easier and better value than ever before."
oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Mexicana, Qantas and Royal Jordanian, and around 20 affiliates including American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru. Russia's S7 Airlines will join the alliance in 2010 with India's Kingfisher Airlines also a member elect and Air Berlin now lining up to join. Between them, these airlines:
- Serve almost 900 airports in nearly 150 countries, with some 9,500 daily departures.
- Offer more than 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
- Carry 340 million passengers a year.
- Operate a combined fleet of almost 2,500 aircraft.
- Generate around US$90 billion annual revenues in total.
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 combined oneworld network and more airport lounges. oneworld also offers more alliance fares than any of its competitors.
oneworld was named the World's Best Alliance two weeks ago in the 2010 World Airline Awards and has been voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the past seven years in the World Travel Awards. It is the only winner of this award since it was introduced in 2003.