Japan’s transport ministry has granted antitrust immunity for Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways to cooperate with partners on U.S. flights, paving the way for deals that may cut costs and boost sales. Meanwhile, Tokyo’s Haneda airport has opened a new runway and passenger terminal, as the capital sets its sights on becoming an Asian aviation hub.
An ongoing diplomatic spat between Japan and China has hit air travel between the two neighbouring Asian giants. Following a row between Tokyo and Beijing over disputed islands in the East China Sea some 11,000 trips on flights to China have been cancelled according to carriers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed to grant antitrust immunity that would enable United Airlines, Continental Airlines and ANA to expand their alliance relationship.
The United States department of transportation has mooted antitrust immunity for two aviation alliances offering services to Japan. The news comes on the same day British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia launched their long-awaited transatlantic tie-up.
Japanese airline All Nippon Airways has confirmed it is to launch a new low-cost carrier as demand for travel in Asia surges. Having secured financial backing from Hong Kong-based private equity firm First Eastern Investment Group, the Tokyo-based airline will establish “the first Japanese low-cost airline” in late 2011.
Just days ahead of its public launch, officials from Boeing have suggested its troubled Dreamliner aircraft may encounter further delays before it is delivered to carriers. All Nippon – the first airline scheduled to receive the aircraft – may now have to wait until early 2011.
All Nippon Airways is introducing women-only lavatories on its international routes in response to “numerous requests for this service”. The Japanese carrier joins Korean Air as the only other commerical airline to offer such a service.
All Nippon Airways, Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL), and United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAUA) today filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for antitrust immunity to enable the three carriers to create a more efficient and comprehensive trans-Pacific network, generating substantial service and pricing benefits for consumers.
United, Continental and All Nippon Airways are seeking a three-way tie-up which will enable them to co-ordinate schedules and fares between the US and Japan in a bid to “compete more effectively” with other global airline alliances. The application comes less than a fortnight after an “open skies” agreement between the US and Japan.