Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Despite JAL's bankruptcy and rumors that it plans to switch over to the SkyTeam alliance, American Airlines remains surprisingly upbeat, stating that neither factor--at least for the time being--will hinder the oneworld Alliance. See American Airlines, Inc., other oneworld Partners: Japan Airlines Bankruptcy No Threat to Alliance, Dallas Bus. J., Jan. 19, 2010 (available here).
As a new story points out, the real issue for both SkyTeam and oneworld when it comes to JAL is not so much the carrier's survival as it is access to the Japanese airline's routes and premium passengers. See Harry R. Weber, Asia, not JAL, is the Prize as Delta and American Fight for Bankrupt Rival, Assoc. Press, Jan. 20, 2010. From the story:
The winner gets a bigger revenue stream, more power to help shape overseas customer options and ticket prices and the potential to one day fly its own aircraft and passengers on JAL's routes.
. . .
Growth in Asia won't cure everything that ails the major U.S. airlines but it would provide a much-needed boost. Airlines can get higher fares for seats to Asia because international business travelers tend to spend more than leisure fliers. Business travelers fly more and often at the last minute, which means paying higher walk-up fares.