British Airways parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) has agreed plans to form a new joint venture with Japan Airlines (JAL).
The new partnership would allow BA and JAL to coordinate operations between Europe and Japan, offering an expanded range of codeshare flights, coordinated schedules, combined frequent flyer benefits and the option of launching new routes.
JAL today submitted its application to the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism (MLIT) seeking anti-trust approval for the new venture. IAG is in contact with the European Union with a view to getting the equivalent permission.
The likelihood is however, that the venture will be approved. In June last year ANA and Lufthansa received anti-trust immunity to set up a near identical joint venture for flights between Japan and Europe. JAL has also set up a similar joint venture with American Airlines on routes across the Pacific.
“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 JAL and BA are existing codeshare partners and members of the oneworld alliance,” said Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG.