28 February 2010

JAL chooses to stay in oneworld; adoption travel choices through Japan still poor

In previous postings I'd discussed the changing landscape of US-Japan air service and how new possibilities for China adoption travel might come about. With the bankruptcy and re-organization of Japan Airlines, speculation was strong for a tie-up with Delta and the SkyTeam alliance, which might have been very interesting for new service between Guangzhou and North America.

However, this scenario will not be happening, as JAL has decided to stay in its current partnership with American Airlines and the oneworld alliance. JAL and American intend to form a joint venture to plan and market their Transpacific services. But JAL's bankruptcy recovery plan calls for sharply reducing international service, and American flies to Tokyo from only a handful of U.S. cities. 

Therefore I don't foresee the JAL-AA combination offering much new competition - whether in new city-pair connections, or through permanently reduced fares - anytime soon between the U.S. and China.