American Airlines Chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey reaffirmed the commitment of American and the oneworld Alliance to retain Japan Airlines (JAL) as a valued partner and equal member within the oneworld group. Arpey, who also is chairman of the oneworld Board of Governors, addressed media and other attendees at an event in Mexico City commemorating the induction of Mexicana Airlines into oneworld.
"JAL is a highly valued member of oneworld," said Arpey. "The alliance and its other member airlines have deep and long-standing partnerships with JAL that produce hundreds of millions of dollars of value for JAL, and we are committed to maintaining and strengthening that partnership."
Arpey noted that the current global economic environment has affected carriers worldwide, but it’s been especially challenging for those operating in the Asia Pacific region. "As its country’s and the region’s biggest airline, Japan Airlines has been right in the eye of the storm," he said. "The media have been speculating extensively on JAL’s prospects and its alliance strategy. We are convinced that we can deliver the most meaningful alliance value to JAL— by a wide margin— and without any of the regulatory risk a change in alliance strategy would mean for them, not to mention the financial costs JAL would incur if it changed alliances at such a critical phase in its restructuring."
As the governments of Japan and the United States consider an Open Skies agreement, Arpey noted that JAL is more likely to realize the benefits of an immunized relationship with American Airlines. And, by remaining with oneworld, JAL can continue to benefit fully from all of the revenues flowing from all its partnerships. "We are dedicated to do what we can to help JAL weather its current challenges and to assure it a long and healthy future as an important and equal member of oneworld," he said.
oneworld celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this year. The alliance includes: American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Iberia, Finnair, LAN, Japan Airlines, Malév, Royal Jordanian and now Mexicana.
For American’s customers, Mexicana and its regional affiliates will expand their travel options with 25 new destinations in Mexico alone. Now getaways to coastal cities such as Tijuana and Tampico are a connection away.
Mexicana became part of oneworld on November 9 – adding Mexico and Central America’s leading airline to the alliance. Its subsidiaries MexicanaClick and MexicanaLink also joined oneworld at the same time, as affiliate members. All three airlines will offer the alliance’s full range of services and benefits.
The oneworld network has 700 destinations in nearly 150 countries, with a combined fleet of some 2,250 aircraft operating more than 8,000 flights a day, carrying 325 million passengers a year, with annual revenues of $100 billion.