BA, Japan Airlines agree tie-up on flights
British Airways and Japan Airlines have agreed a tie-up on flights between Europe and the world's third-biggest economy in a new cost-cutting initiative, BA parent group IAG said on Wednesday.
"International Airlines Group (IAG) and Japan Airlines (JAL) have agreed plans for a new joint business between British Airways and JAL on flights between Europe and Japan," IAG said in a statement.
"The joint business would benefit customers by providing better links between Europe and Japan, greater choice of flights, enhanced frequent flyer benefits and the potential to launch new routes."
IAG, which was formed last year from the merger of British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia, added that the revenue-sharing agreement would enable it to compete more effectively with other airlines.
"British Airways has a long history of flying to Japan and linking the world's third largest economy to the UK and Europe," IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said in the statement.
"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."
IAG added that JAL has submitted its application to the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) to seek antitrust immunity to co-operate on flights between the EU and Japan with British Airways. IAG is also in contact with the European Union.
"JAL is looking forward to the potential customer benefits we foresee from the synergies with British Airways," said JAL president and chairman-elect Masaru Onishi.
"Just as our customers travelling over the Pacific have gained from the joint business between JAL and American Airlines which began last April, we expect the closer relationship with British Airways to also provide the travelling public between Europe and Japan with greater convenience and options.
"JAL seeks to continue improving customer experiences all-around, including through tighter cooperation with our quality partners as the industry liberalises."
© 2012 AFP