JAL to add Iberia to European alliance

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Iberia will launch flights to Tokyo in October (credit: EQRoy)
Iberia will launch flights to Tokyo in October (credit: EQRoy)

Japan Airlines has applied for permission to add Iberia to its European joint business.

The Japanese national carrier currently coordinates its operations between Japan and Europe with British Airways and Finnair. But it has now submitted an application to Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism for anti-trust immunity to create four-way venture that includes Iberia.

The move comes as Iberia, the Spanish national carrier, gears up to launch direct flights linking Madrid with Tokyo Narita Airport. This route is due to commence on 18 October 2016 and will mark Iberia’s arrival in the Far East.

“We are pleased to welcome Iberia into our joint business,” said Yoshiharu Ueki, JAL’s president. “This will strengthen JAL’s presence in Spain, and provide our customers with more convenience to Madrid and beyond.”

If anti-trust immunity is approved, the new route will be added to the four airlines’ joint business, which sees them coordinate flight schedules and fares and share revenues on a series of routes linking Japan’s Tokyo Narita, Tokyo Haneda, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka airports with European destinations including London, Helsinki and Paris.

Iberia’s new Madrid-Narita service will initially operate three times a week, with plans to increase the frequency in future.

Like BA, Finnair and JAL, Iberia is a member of the oneworld alliance.

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