Japan Airlines (JAL) and oneworld have exchanged a memorandum of understanding. Now the Asian carrier is closer to joining the global airline alliance.The agreement was signed just three months after JAL first indicated its intention to seek oneworld membership.
It sets out a framework for the remaining steps to be taken before the alliance can formally invite the airline to join. All parties have committed to reach this stage in the next few months - and then to bring the new recruit on board oneworld on a fast track programme.
Assuming all remaining agreements can be reached, this should see JAL flying as a fully fledged member of the alliance in around a year.
American Airlines will be supporting JAL through these tasks, as its prime oneworld sponsor, assisted by Cathay Pacific.
oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: “Adding Japan Airlines will be one of the most significant developments in oneworld’s history. We are delighted that we have been able to reach this key stage in our discussions so soon. It signals an excellent relationship going forward. Bringing JAL on board is a top priority for the alliance. oneworld and all its member airlines have committed to do whatever is necessary to complete this process as smoothly and speedily as possible. We look forward to working with the team at JAL to complete the steps necessary before we can issue a formal invitation to join.”
JAL Group Chief Executive Officer Toshiyuki Shinmachi said: “Discussions between Japan Airlines and oneworld have progressed at an extremely swift pace. The memorandum of understanding signifies Japan Airlines’ first major step towards obtaining full membership of oneworld. We hope that we can maintain this pace and successfully complete all the stages ahead of us, so JAL can enter oneworld as soon as possible, to the benefit of our customers.”