Jan 11, 2011

TOKYO -  Japan Airlines and American Airlines(R)(American) today announced they have decided to commence their joint business from April 1, 2011, based on the expected start of revenue-sharing on applicable trans-Pacific flights. The airlines, after receiving regulatory approvals from the Japanese Government and the U.S. Department of Transportation, are using a phased approach to bring more travel choices and greater benefits to consumers as quickly as possible and to maximize the value for stakeholders.

Customers can expect to benefit from better flight schedules, expanded codesharing, more coordinated services, and greater access to a wider variety of fares. Japan Airlines will also co-locate in American's Terminal 3 at Chicago O'Hare International Airport effective March 27, when Japan Airlines' summer schedule begins. Additional consumer benefits over the coming months are expected as the cooperation level deepens between the two airlines.


Scope of the Joint Business

The joint business will apply to non-stop flights on 10 trans-Pacific routes initially. It is expected to be expanded upon obtaining the required approval from authorities of third-party countries to add routes linking destinations beyond Japan and North America.


Trans-Pacific Flights

Operating Carrier



Narita = New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Vancouver

Haneda =San Francisco


Narita = Dallas/Fort Worth, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles

Haneda = New York, Beijing = Chicago*, Shanghai = Chicago*, Los Angeles*


Connecting flights from the above trans-Pacific Flights

Operating Carrier



Asia, domestic points within Japan


Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, domestic points within USA

*Chinese Government approvals pending


Customer Benefits

Japan Airlines and American exchanged data and analyzed traffic patterns and consumer demand. The following customer benefits were developed from that analysis and discussions between the airlines:


Alignment of the 2011 summer schedules, effective from March 27, 2011, for Japan Airlines and from April 5, 2011, for American Airlines, are expected to result in reduced connection and overall travel times, a better choice of flight times, and increased connection opportunities to destinations beyond gateway cities.

Expanded codesharing is expected to result in more routing choices and more destinations. Including those announced today, Japan Airlines and American will codeshare on a total of 123 routes and will continue to expand our codeshare routes in the future.

Co-location at Chicago is expected to result in shorter connections and travel times, increased connection opportunities and greater convenience for customers beginning March 27.

Greater access to a wider choice of fares through fare alignment between the two airlines.

Increased mileage promotion opportunities for trans-Pacific customers.

Beginning this summer, an enhanced customer experience is expected due to content sharing on the airlines' websites, online booking capability and check-in regardless of which airline is being flown, more aligned operational policies and procedures, facility co-locations, and more coordinated pricing and programs for travel agencies and corporations.

The two airlines have begun sharing best practices and cultural insights to serve customers better.


Tokyo- Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth

Chicago, used often as a transit point to and from other parts in North America to Asia, is a key gateway from which both Japan Airlines and American operate to and from Japan. To enhance the customer experience, the two airlines have agreed to realign their flight schedules to maximize the benefits of co-locating at Chicago. By adjusting the schedule of Japan Airlines' Narita-Chicago flight to depart earlier in the day and moving the American Airlines flight later in the day, the number of possible connections that can be made to other parts of the U.S. within 3 hours of arrival into Chicago increases from approximately 43 to 45 destinations. In addition, customers can now choose Japan Airlines for an earlier start in Chicago or choose American for more time in Japan.

Adjustments to the schedule of American's domestic flights arriving into Chicago and the departure time of Japan Airlines' Chicago-Narita flight allows customers on 44 flights from 42 points in North America to easily connect on Japan Airlines' Chicago-Narita flight within just 2 hours of arrival into Chicago. This is an increase of 22 flights and 20 destinations allowing both airlines to capture greater travel demand. The reduced connection times and the increase in the number of possible connecting flights from American are expected to result in more customers transferring to Japan Airlines. In addition, eligible Japan Airlines customers are able to utilize American's Admirals Club Lounge in Terminal 3 at Chicago and this will become much more convenient for customers once Japan Airlines' planned relocation from terminal 5 takes place.

American operates two flights from Dallas/Fort Worth to Tokyo's Narita Airport.  American's flight departing from Dallas/Fort Worth at 12:50 and arriving in Narita at 15:55 has been scheduled to arrive at a time ideal for connections with reduced waiting time to multiple Asian cities to which Japan Airlines flies. The number of destinations that customers can transfer onto within 3 hours of arriving on that flight from Dallas/Fort Worth increases from 4 to 12 destinations.  New connecting flight destinations include Beijing, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Nagoya (Chubu), Manila, Pusan, Sapporo, Seoul (Incheon), and Taipei. Customers can continue to connect to Osaka, Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok.  East Coast customers who historically flew from Dallas/Fort Worth to Singapore via Narita on Japan Airlines will be able to fly from New York to Singapore connecting at Haneda in the future.    



Customers can fly between Los Angeles and Japan on either Japan Airlines or American.  Customers will also have more schedule options for traveling between Japan and the U.S. west coast due to the changed departure times for flights between Tokyo and Los Angeles, which reduce the connection time from Japan Airlines' Tokyo Narita to Los Angeles flight to several popular U.S. destinations by one and a half to three hours. In the reverse direction, the connection time from several key U.S. destinations to Japan Airlines' Los Angeles to Tokyo flight has been shortened by one to two hours.

In addition, both airlines' customers can fly on Japan Airlines' new flight between Tokyo's Haneda and San Francisco (launched October 31, 2010). The route connects two very popular travel destinations and provides a later departure option from Tokyo for customers.


Tokyo- New York

The Tokyo to New York route connects the two largest cities in the U.S. - Japan market. The addition of American's New York to Haneda route provides customers with a new early morning departure from Tokyo's Haneda Airport and a new evening option from New York to Tokyo that did not exist previously. Both airlines' customers benefit from a greater choice of airports (Narita or Haneda) and more schedule options while the airlines benefit regardless of which routing or airline is chosen. In addition, once American begins its new flight from New York to Haneda, it will begin sharing Japan Airlines lounge at Haneda.


Codesharing and Mileage Programs

Under the joint business agreement, Japan Airlines and American will gradually expand the number of codeshare flights. Japan Airlines will add its code to select American flights in the next few months to expand JAL's network in the U.S to include new destinations like Salt Lake City and Sacramento. And on January 27, American will begin codesharing on JAL-operated flights between Haneda and Singapore as well as Hong Kong, creating smoother connections with their new Haneda-JFK route when that route begins. Additionally, American will place its "AA" code on Japan Airlines' flights linking Narita with Vancouver. In addition, American will codeshare on Japan Airlines' domestic flights in March and details will be announced upon attaining government approval. Customers will benefit from being able to more easily purchase flights to more destinations as a result of the expanded codesharing, and the airlines will become more competitive in those markets.

Customers participating in Japan Airlines and American's mileage programs will continue to enjoy reciprocal benefits and are expected to benefit from opportunities to earn and redeem miles on each airlines' flights more easily as a result of the increased codesharing and new routes - Tokyo's Haneda to San Francisco (launched October 31, 2010), New York's John F. Kennedy Airport to Haneda (scheduled to begin February 18, 2011), Los Angeles to Shanghai (scheduled to begin April 5, 2011). In addition, mileage program members are expected to benefit from more promotional opportunities.


Business Benefits

Japan Airlines and American plan to share revenue generated from operations over the Pacific, regardless of which airline carries the customer beginning April 1, 2011. The companies' sales forces will work together to sell both brands in order to meet customers' needs through a process called "metal neutral selling". The combined sales forces will be able to offer customers a broader suite of products and services than in the past. In addition, the airlines will maximize synergies to strengthen their business and elevate their level of operational efficiency and productivity while reducing costs. Expected business benefits include:


More coordinated pricing and programs for travel agencies and corporate customers.

Under the joint business agreement, Japan Airlines and American's sales forces can conduct activities in cooperation to promote themselves together, thereby boosting the productivity and efficiency of the sales teams, and increasing the opportunities for sales and publicity.

In the future, the two airlines plan to jointly sell Japan Airlines' premium economy product; which is expected to make both airlines more competitive in the marketplace. American's customers will have a new travel option that did not previously exist.

Japan Airlines and American both offer first class service on most of the trans-Pacific routes, allowing first class customers to enjoy the increase in flight options.

Expected investment and operational efficiencies gained from co-locations at airports, offices, joint lounge operations, and other operational synergies are expected to make both airlines stronger.

Purchase of Japan Airlines and American's applicable trans-Pacific flights from either airline's website increases the exposure and sales opportunities for the two brands. Customers will benefit from more convenience as they will be able to select flights and gain access to information about both airlines through one channel.

Japan Airlines and American are also exploring potential opportunities to utilize each other's online presence around the globe with the goal of enhancing customer service.


The new ability to coordinate on pricing, network and schedule, products and services is expected to result in greater revenue and market share as Japan Airlines and American become more competitive with other airlines partnerships.  American will be able to sell more destinations within and beyond Japan than before Open Skies and the joint business with Japan Airlines. Conversely, Japan Airlines will be able to sell more destinations in North America.

Over the past several months, Japan Airlines and American have deepened their relationship, which began more than 15 years ago, by sharing best practices to improve their individual operations so as to increase their competitiveness in their respective regions and enhance customer service. For instance, Japan Airlines has begun to implement business management and profit-forecast procedures shared by American, and teams from both airlines have been exchanging best practices in such specialized fields as maintenance, fleet planning, and information technology. The result of adopting American's profit-forecast concept is expected to enhance Japan Airlines' profit-forecast capability - providing more time for the airline to make adjustments to business changes. American has been discussing Japanese culture with Japan Airlines to better understand how to serve these customers better. For example, by making American's public address announcements more conversational and using new phrases that better describe situations, these announcements are more meaningful to Japanese customers.

From January 17, American will relocate its Asia-Pacific Regional Office in Tokyo from the Chiyoda district to Shinagawa, moving into NRE Tennozu Building where Japan Airlines' headquarters is located. In New York, Japan Airlines moved its administration office into the same building as American on Lexington Avenue on October 28, 2010. The office co-location will allow Japan Airlines and American Airlines employees to work more closely together.


Stakeholder Benefits

Stakeholders, business partners, and employees are expected to benefit from the trans-Pacific joint business from the anticipated improved financial position and stability of the airlines, reduced costs, and increased competitive position.  Specifically,


Each airline is expected to have a greater ability to invest in its people, products, services and fleets over the long term.

The alignment of policies and procedures is expected to improve the customer experience between the two airlines and to simplify employees' jobs and increase job fulfillment by making it easier to serve customers.

In the process of the collaboration, employees from Japan Airlines and American are expected to have the opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge through sharing best practices and culture.


In addition to implementing the joint business, Japan Airlines and American will maintain and enhance their relationships with other members of the oneworld(R)Alliance in seeking to provide customers continuous service improvements.

"We are delighted to begin bringing our customers the benefits of our joint business with American Airlines," said Japan Airlines President Masaru Onishi. "With our complementary strengths, the Japan Airlines-American team is well positioned to pursue further service enhancements for our customers and greater synergies for our businesses. Japan Airlines is strongly committed to our corporate revitalization, and I am confident that this joint business will raise our competitiveness in this vital region, improve our profitability and aid us in achieving our goal."

"We are pleased to partner with Japan Airlines to bring expanded benefits to our customers," said Tom Horton, American Airlines President.  "We firmly believe our joint business will benefit all stakeholders - our customers, our financial partners, and our employees.  Japan Airlines has been an excellent partner, and together, we are preparing for the next decade - a decade that is likely to see growth in air travel between North America and Asia."

Visit aa.com/moreasia for additional details on the customer benefits associated with the American Airlines and Japan Airlines joint business.




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