Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has granted anti-trust immunity to a joint business between Japan Airlines, Finnair and British Airways. (Finnair flies daily from Helsinki to Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.) This opens the way for Finnair to join the existing joint business between Japan Airlines and British Airways. The agreement will allow all three airlines to cooperate commercially on flights between Europe and Japan. British Airways operates from Heathrow to Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports and Japan Airlines daily operates from Tokyo to London and Paris Frankfurt and Helsinki.

Finnair plane flying from Japan


The new joint business is expected to be launched next Spring. The addition of Finnair will further enhance customer benefits by providing better links between the EU and Japan, with more flight choices and enhanced frequent flyer benefits. In addition, this new joint business will allow the three airlines to cooperate on expanding their presence within, to and from this important and growing market.

The revenue-sharing agreement will strengthen the oneworld® alliance and enable it to compete more effectively around the world with other global alliances.

President of JAL, Yoshiharu Ueki, said “Amid the evolving Japanese aviation industry, the ATI will enable us to build a stronger value-creating relationship with British Airways and Finnair that can further benefit our customers as well as our business.”

Pekka Vauramo, CEO of Finnair, said, “We are glad we are now one step closer to starting the cooperation with JAL and British Airways to provide our customers with better connections between the EU Japan.”



Keith Williams, chief executive of British Airways said, “Today’s decision by the MLIT will benefit the customers of all three airlines by allowing us to explore ways to improve the connections between East and West.”




Following on from our story of yesterday about Qatar Airways joining oneworld, we cab report that LAN Colombia, a company related to LATAM Airlines Group SA (LAN Airlines), will become an affiliate member of oneworld.   LAN Airlines itself has been a full member of oneworld since 2000.  All other passenger airline affiliates of LAN Airlines have joined oneworld as affiliate members subsequently – LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru – apart from TAM, which will transition to oneworld from Star Alliance in 2014.
This will bring all of the components of Latin America’s leading airline group into the same global airline alliance.
Through its oneworld partnership with British Airways, Iberia and American Airlines, LAN Colombia will be able to offer its customers the most popular gateways for Latin American travelers, in their Miami, New York, Madrid and London Heathrow hubs.

From its first flights on Tuesday, 1 October 2013, LAN Colombia will offer oneworld’s full range of services and benefits.

Its cardholders of the LANPASS frequent flyer programme will enjoy privileges whenever they fly with any oneworld member airline – including the ability to earn and redeem awards and earn tier status points when flying on any oneworld airline partner.

As at 1st October British Airways Executive Club members and Qatar Privilege Club members will be able to redeem miles on each other’s flights. BA has said: “Qatar Airways will become a full member of oneworld®with effect from Wednesday 30 October 2013, adding one of the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated airlines to the world’s leading quality airline alliance.

Qatar Airways Aircraft

One of just seven carriers worldwide rated five-star by the Skytrax airline quality agency and the organisation’s Airline of the Year 2011 and 2012 and runner-up 2013, Qatar Airways is the only one of the “Gulf Big Three” carriers slated to join any of the global airline alliances.


All 3 of the world’s airline alliances – Oneworld, SkyTeam and the Star Alliance – have backed Heathrow as part of the Davies Commission into UK airport capacity.

OneworldThe fact that Oneworld has expressed its support for Heathrow is no real surprise as British Airways, one of its founding members, holds nearly 50% of available slots at the west London airport. British Airways, and in particular Willie Walsh, have been long and vociferous supporters of a third runway at Heathrow and Oneworld has simply made it clear that it shares this opinion.

Both SkyTeam and the Star Alliance have much less of a vested interest in Heathrow but both have come out strongly in its support.

Heathrow Terminal 2 bWith the opening of Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 next year, the Star Alliance will pretty much have Terminal 2 to itself while Sky Team will see all its members moved to Terminal 4. With its partners all in the same terminal, both alliances feel that, for the first time, they will be able to offer passengers a seamless service and thus allow them to compete with British Airways.

To this end, a statement from the Star Alliance read: “This will allow us to effectively compete with the other alliances in Heathrow and add to the quality of our services and therefore we do not see any opportunity for us to make a change to another airport”. At the same time, SkyTeam simply commented that “relocating to another London or UK airport is not an option for our members.”

With the Davies Commission now have completed the process of accepting submissions and comments from all interested parties, it won’t be until 2015, after the next General Election, that a final decision is made. However, where once it seemed that any expansion at Heathrow was dead and buried, the momentum now seems to be with the incumbent and it just needs to be seen whether the politicians are prepared to make some very difficult decisions.



Reports in the media suggest that American Airlines is planning an increase in flights between Heathrow and both Miami & Dallas.

Dallas flights are set to increase from 14 to 17 per week while Miami flights are set to increase from 10 to 14 per week; both increases are set to come into effect at the start of the winter season in early November.

american2Like British Airways, American Airlines was a founding member of the oneworld airline alliance and both airlines have a joint-business agreement (together with Iberia) on flights across the Atlantic. This agreement allows the airlines to co-ordinate schedules, fares and frequent flyer benefits and, in so doing, makes their combined offering much more attractive to the all-important business traveller. British Airways already flies between Heathrow and both Miami & Dallas so, between them, the two airlines are by some way the dominant players on these routes.

Later this year, it is expected that American Airlines will also merge with rival carrier US Airways. Assuming the merger goes ahead, it is almost certain that the new airline will retain, and indeed grow, its links with British Airways. US Airways has hubs at Phoenix & Philadelphia, both of which British Airways already flies to, as well as Charlotte which British Airways withdrew from some years ago. It would be no surprise if British Airways was to re-launch flights to the North Carolina city and further strengthen its own position in the US market.

The new A380 British Airways World Traveller Plus cabin