American Airlines is working hard to keep Japan Airlines Corp. in the oneworld alliance, offering to expand cooperation and inject funds into the debt-ridden carrier, which is currently seeking aid from the Japanese government.
Delta Air Lines is currently attempting to lure the Japanese carrier into its own SkyTeam alliance but American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey has said a change in alliances “would be a very bad idea for Japan Airlines.”
Arpey said that its oneworld alliance was the best partner for Japan Airlines “by a wide margin,” and the current talks include “possible capital or financing arrangements” for Japan Airlines, which is headed for its fourth loss in five years.
He added that if JAL were to move “That would certainly be very bad for us, but we don’t control their decision-making process.”
Both American and Delta want access to Japan Airlines’ network in its home country, the world’s second- largest economy, and China, Asia’s biggest air-traffic market. Arpey is slated to meet today with other oneworld leaders in Mexico City as Grupo Mexicana de Aviacion SA joins the alliance.
Arpey also used the speech in Mexico City to raise the spector of any Delta-JAL alliance being targeted by antitrust authorities.
“We are convinced that we can deliver the most meaningful alliance value to JAL—by a wide margin—and without any of the regulatory risk a change in alliance strategy would mean for them, not to mention the financial costs JAL would incur if it changed alliances at such a critical phase in its restructuring,” said Arpey.