Japan Airlines and fellow oneworld alliance members British Airways and Finnair will start their planned joint business between Europe and Japan starting on April 1, 2014.
The joint business means that the three airlines will share revenue and cooperate on scheduling and pricing between Japan and Europe, providing customers with more flexible routing options and an attractive range of fares.
Last October Japanese regulators gave approval to the airlines’ plans to include Finnair in the joint business established in 2012 by British Airways and Japan Airlines, and in February the three airlines began selling joint fares on select routes for travel after April 1.
The joint business opens up all three airlines’ networks between Japan and Europe and allows the airline partners to cooperate on expanding their presence in this growing and important market. The agreement also strengthens the oneworld alliance and enables it to compete more effectively around the world with other global alliances.
Customer benefits of the joint business will include:
· The ability to mix and match flights on all three carriers for the most convenient scheduling and best pricing
· Online booking capability and check-in with any of the three airlines, regardless of which is being flown
· Integrated customer support across the three airlines
· Greater connectivity on all three airlines in case of disruption
Currently, Finnair flies daily from Helsinki to Tokyo and daily in summer (five times per week in the winter) to Osaka and Nagoya, connecting Japan to more than 50 Finnair destinations in Europe. Japan Airlines also operates daily from Tokyo to Helsinki, Frankfurt, Paris and London, while British Airways operates daily flights (from April 9) from London to both Narita and Haneda airports in Tokyo.
“Since the authorities gave the green light for us to enter this joint business, we have worked very hard with our new partners to establish a well-functioning cooperation,” says Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo. “Together, the three of us will constitute the single largest player in Europe-Japan traffic, offering an extremely competitive customer proposition in this vital market.”
“The start of three carriers’ joint business between Europe and Japan is one of the great milestones in our Mid-Term Management Plan,” says President of JAL Yoshiharu Ueki. “Tighter cooperation with our oneworld partners, British Airways and Finnair, will provide more seamless, consistent services and more travel choices for our customers.”
Keith Williams, British Airways’ Executive Chairman said: “Finnair’s inclusion in the joint business with British Airways and Japan Airlines will open up a whole new world of opportunity for customers travelling between Japan and Europe. With an expanded range of routes, special fares and greater rewards for frequent flyers, it has never been a better time to plan your journey between east and west."