Tokyo, October 22, 2010: Today, the application submitted by Japan Airlines (JAL) in June this year for antitrust immunity with oneworld(R) alliance partner American Airlines (American) was approved by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan (MLIT).
This comes after the United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) issued an order tentatively approving the ATI application, filed by both airlines at the beginning of this year. The approval from Japanese authorities today marks another key milestone in the airlines’ pursuit of a joint business across the Pacific.
Following the formal signing of Open Skies between the United States and Japan anticipated to be soon, and upon obtaining the final DOT order, JAL and American will enter into a joint business agreement as two independent legal entities, enabling them to cooperate commercially on routes between North America and Asia. Both airlines will then be able to offer customers a more extensive network through increased codeshares, greater flight options by being able to adjust schedules that complement, as well as access to a wider variety of fares.
“We are grateful to the Ministry for approving our application for ATI, and we deeply appreciate the efforts and considerations of all the individuals who have played a part in arriving at today’s decision,” said Masaru Onishi, President of Japan Airlines. ”There has been and will be more developments in the Japanese aviation sector and we are intent on keeping the marketplace competitive so that customers can benefit from more travel options and enhanced services. I am also committed to the speedy recovery of the JAL Group and am confident that the joint business with American will contribute to the growth and stability of both our businesses in a volatile yet indispensable industry. I look forward to taking our partnership with American Airlines to a deeper level so that we can more effectively serve the needs of our valuable customers."
Commenting on the significant regulatory stage cleared, American’s Chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey said,” This is another step in the process and an important one. Today the government of Japan joined the government of the United States in recognizing that a joint venture between JAL and American will greatly benefit the travelling public, the employees and investors of two great airlines, and the citizens of both Japan and the United States. It is a win-win situation for all involved and we thank the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for its favourable review.”