The United States Department of Transportation Oct. 6 issued an order tentatively approving an antitrust immunity application filed in February by American Airlines and Japan Airlines.
The two airlines will enter into a joint venture after a final DOT order and approval from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
By last week’s action, the DOT moved closer to granting antitrust immunity to the two airlines as allowed under a provision of the Open Skies agreement initialed by the United States and Japan last December. Open Skies allows new service between the U.S. and Tokyo International Airport at Haneda.
Japan was No. 4 for imports and exports on the JOC list of Top 10 U.S. Trading Partners in 2009.
American will begin daily flights between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Haneda on Jan. 20, 2011, and Japan Airlines will begin daily flights between Haneda and San Francisco as well as Honolulu Oct. 31, 2010.
American Airlines and Japan Airlines are members of the oneworld Alliance.
Under an immunized agreement, the two airlines will cooperate commercially on flights between North America and Asia while continuing to operate as separate legal entities.
"An immunized joint business will benefit the U.S. and Japanese economies, promote increased cultural exchange and provide more travel choices and greater access to discounted fares for millions of consumers," said Will Ris, American's senior vice president – government affairs.
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