American-Japanese airlines boost alliance

09:21, January 12, 2011      

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The heads of American Airlines and Japan Airlines said yesterday their beefed up alliance will give travelers cheaper fares, more routes and easier connections on flights across the Pacific Ocean.

US and Japanese regulators gave approval to the strengthened alliance late last year, which followed the two nations signing an "open skies" deal to encourage air travel. American Airlines and Japan Airlines have cooperated for the past 15 years.

"Together, we will be stronger and more competitive," American Airlines President Thomas Horton said alongside Masaru Onishi, his counterpart at Japan Airlines.

Bringing their operations closer will result in a combined sales boost and cost savings of 13 billion yen (US$156 million) Onishi said, while refusing to give details of how the carriers will share revenue.

As a result of closer cooperation in flight scheduling and setting fares, a round-trip flight from Tokyo to San Francisco or Los Angeles, which used to cost as much as 249,000 yen (US$3,000), will come down to 69,000 yen (US$830), the executives said at Japan Airlines' headquarters in Tokyo. A round-trip Tokyo-Chicago or Tokyo-New York ticket will cost 77,000 yen (US$930).

But Onishi said the fares aren't about to plunge across the board since bother airlines will stick to a strategy of focusing on premium, or business, travelers.

Source: Shanghai Daily
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