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AA and JAL Welcome Tentative Antitrust Immunity Approval from DOT

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Japan Airlines and American Airlines, both members of the oneworld Alliance, have welcomed an order issued by the United States Department of Transportation tentatively approving the antitrust immunity application filed by the two airlines in February.

By this action, the DOT has moved another step closer to granting antitrust immunity to the two airlines as allowed under a provision of the Open Skies agreement initialed by the United States and Japan last December. Open Skies allows new service between the U.S. and Tokyo International Airport at Haneda (HND).

Japan Airlines will commence daily flights between Haneda and San Francisco (SFO) as well as Honolulu (HNL) starting 31 October 2010 while American will begin daily flights between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Haneda on 20 January 2011.

Under an immunized agreement, the two airlines will cooperate commercially on flights between North America and Asia while continuing to operate as separate legal entities. Consumers should benefit by, among other things, improved schedule and routing choices, and will continue to receive reciprocal frequent flyer benefits and airport lounge access.

Obtaining antitrust immunity for their proposed trans-Pacific joint business will allow American Airlines and Japan Airlines to better compete with the two other global alliances that serve the United States - Asia market.

"We appreciate that DOT recognizes the value in our application. Upon receiving immunity, Japan Airlines and American Airlines will cooperate more closely with the common goal of serving our customers better," said Tsutomu Ando, Executive Officer of International Affairs at Japan Airlines. "These new opportunities afforded by developments in the aviation landscape in Japan will allow us to optimize flight schedules, pricing, and enhance operational efficiency to ultimately benefit the customers."

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