JAL, Vietjet form new Asian alliance

JAL and Vietjet have agreed to join forces, forming another alliance on routes between Japan and Vietnam.

Eighteen months after ANA and Vietnam Airlines first announced plans to become partners, with the Japanese airline acquiring an equity stake in Vietnam’s national carrier, the countries’ other major airlines have now agreed to team up.

The partnership between JAL and Vietjet followed a series of discussions on how to expand their networks and cater to rising demand on routes between Japan and Vietnam. The two carriers have now agreed, in the first phase of the tie-up, to start codesharing on all flights connecting Japan and Vietnam, as well as domestic flights within each country. JAL will also codeshare on Vietjet’s flights connecting Vietnam and the other Asian countries, thus providing additional feeder traffic into the partnership.

Moving forward, JAL and Vietjet said they will “further explore opportunities” to expand the partnership into other areas, such as frequent flyer programmes, aircraft operations, maintenance, ground handling services and training.

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JAL’s Tadashi Fujita at the signing ceremony

JAL currently operates daily flights from Tokyo Narita to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and from Tokyo Haneda to Ho Chi Minh City. Vietjet does not currently fly to Japan, but has an extensive regional network of routes, especially in Southeast Asia.

“Japan is our key market as we expand the airline’s flight network in the Asia Pacific region,” said Luu Duc Khanh, managing director of Vietjet. “The partnership between Vietjet and JAL will diversify our air transportation products and the market segment while stimulating the movement of people between the two countries.”

Tadashi Fujita, JAL’s executive vice president, added; “The launch of this partnership with Vietjet represents a significant milestone for the two airlines to provide customers better access to destinations between Japan and Vietnam as well as beyond, and we believe it will contribute to generate more passenger and cargo traffic between the two countries and open up commercial opportunities on the two airlines’ international networks.”

ANA and Vietnam Airlines also launched codeshare and frequent flyer partnership as part of the US$108 million deal that saw the Japanese airline take an 8.8% stake in Vietnam’s national carrier.

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