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IAG and Japan Airlines take first step towards intended joint business between Japan and Europe

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.

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.

JAL has today submitted its application to the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) seeking antitrust immunity to co-operate on flights between the EU and Japan with British Airways. IAG is in contact with the European Union.

The revenue-sharing agreement would also strengthen the one world alliance and enable it to compete more effectively around the world with other global alliances.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said: “British Airways has a long history of flying to Japan and linking the world’s third largest economy to the UK and Europe.

“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.

“The MLIT has a key role in this process and we hope to receive approval from them for the joint business which would bring great benefits to consumers.”

Current president and chairman-elect of JAL, Masaru Onishi, said: “JAL is looking forward to the potential customer benefits we foresee from the synergies with British Airways.

“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.”


February 8, 2012 IAG 01/2012


Media enquiries:

IAG press office : + 44 20 8564 2810

JAL press office: Sze hunn Yap +81-3-5460-3109