British Airways, JAL receive immunity for cooperative operations between Japan and EU

British Airways and JAL, partners in the oneworld alliance,  have received approval from the Japanese government to formally launch cooperative marketing and revenue sharing efforts for service between Japan and destinations in the EU. JAL currently operates four daily flights from Tokyo to Europe (Paris 2x, London and Frankfurt) and BA operates 12 weekly flights between London and Tokyo.

The two carriers expect to begin their joint operations in March 2013. They have suggested that the approval will "benefit customers by providing better links between the EU and Japan, more choice, enhanced frequent flyer benefits and the potential to launch new routes." Most other ATI agreements have resulted in less competition which generally is bad on the airfare front, but the other benefits are generally quite good for consumers. It seems unlikely that this one will be much different on either front.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. “enhanced” is always a scary word when it comes to FF programs! But still-in-business is better than “former airline” – and that’s what JAL almost was a few years ago. So the money that BA and AA sunk into keeping JAL flying and keeping JAL in oneworld looks well-spent.

    Though this doesn’t directly impact the Americas, nor any airline based in the Americas, it makes oneworld stronger. Which also helps American Airlines with its weak position in a weak alliance right now. And may inform the final decision that LATAM (LAN/TAM merger) airlines may make about a single alliance for their new merged entity, something I’ve been writing about lately.

    I think it makes my out-there speculation that LAN wants to dump oneworld less likely. Though until I see the “AviancaTaca is now an official Star Alliance Member” announcement, I’m still saying nothing is certain.

    BA/Iberia/BMI parent IAG is getting rather strong these days. Getting ATI with JAL is yet another recent win for them.

    1. “Enhanced” is definitely a scary word, but in this case I actually think it means good things for the FF program aspects, at least on the accrual side. Much like the changes which happened when AA and BA were finally granted the ATI for TATL traffic, this should allow for aligned and arguably better earning options. On the redemption side I’d be worried about fewer frequencies, but I can also see some potential for TYO-MAD at some point with the two sharing the operating costs so that might work out well.

      As for LAN/TAM, they were never going to be in *A once the Avianca/TACA restriction was put in place. That said, they could always bail to SkyTeam. 😉

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