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American Airlines warns JAL of 'enormous risks' in switching to SkyTeam Alliance

20-Nov-2009 11:25 AM

Japan Airlines (JAL) may reportedly have to pay JPY100 billion (USD1.1 billion) in derivative-trading settlements, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun, based on global derivative-trading rules, which require companies that failed to make debt payments must liquidate their positions. (Bloomberg, 20-Nov-2009). 

JAL will reportedly spend up to two months deciding whether to stay with the oneworld airline alliance or switch to the SkyTeam alliance (AFP, 20-Nov-2009). According to VP Industry Affairs, Shuta Saito, the carrier will first focus on working with Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp to improve its financial standing.

Separately, American Airlines stated preparations for an investment in JAL are at an advanced stage, with the carrier again warning of the “enormous risks” JAL will face in switching to SkyTeam (Bloomberg/Kyodo News, 19-Nov-2009).

Japan Airlines: "JAL is still in talks with Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp (ETIC) in ways to restructure the company. Once an agreement is reached, we will then decide whether to stay with Oneworld or go with SkyTeam… We will likely stay with Oneworld on sentimental reasons but there is no firm decision on this yet," Shuta Saito, VP Industry Affairs. Source: AFP, 20-Nov-2009

American Airlines: ‘‘There is very minimal risk in staying with oneworld as opposed to joining the SkyTeam, which delivers enormous risks…This is not a war between two carriers over JAL. This is the right choice for JAL’s future… We want to be here and ready to support our partner in any way we can when the time is right,” Theo Panagiotoulias, VP Asia. Source: Kyodo News, 20-Nov-2009.