JAL eyes British Airways tie-up for European expansion

JAL eyes British Airways tie-up for European expansion

Japan Airlines (JAL)’s president has revealed that he is looking to extend the airline’s reach into Europe through a deal with British Airways. In a recent interview with Bloomberg Masaru Onishi said that a joint venture with the fellow oneworld alliance partner remained a priority for its European business, although it would not rule out other carriers if a deal does not materialise. “Our alliance with British Airways is the key. If we can cover all of Europe with them, which would include Iberia as well, then we won’t need other joint ventures. If not, we’ll look to other airlines,” Onishi told Bloomberg, before adding; “We could expand our business in Europe with Air France and KLM”. Onishi declined to say when he expected to reach an agreement with BA. JAL’s plans to launch a European joint venture are in response to a similar agreement forged recently between its Japanese rival, All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Lufthansa – both members of the Star Alliance. Last year JAL launched a trans-Pacific joint venture with another of its oneworld partners, American Airlines. This followed a bidding war between American and Delta Air Lines, a SkyTeam ally of Air France-KLM, which had threatened to lure the then-bankrupt JAL to SkyTeam. Responding to enquiries by Travel Daily, JAL confirmed earlier this week that it is looking at potential tie-ups in Europe, and that airlines such as Air France-KLM would not be “restricted by

Mark Elliott
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Mark Elliott
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