International Consolidated Airlines Group CEO Willie Walsh stated the company may consider investing in Japan Airlines Corp (Bloomberg, 30-Mar-2011). Separately, ANA has stated it is planning a JV with Lufthansa. The airline industry “needs consolidation," and IAG is “ambitious” and aims to expand, Mr Walsh said. JAL spokeswoman Sze Hunn Yap stated Japan Airlines is open to talking with British Airways about different types of cooperation. IAG added that it is interested in a similar agreement to the JAL/American Airlines transpacific JV to cover routes between Japan and Europe. Mr Walsh added that such an agreement should it be able to receive antitrust immunity.
International Consolidated Airlines Group: “JAL has done a fantastic job. If the opportunity arises we would definitely be looking at deepening the relationship and we wouldn’t rule out some equity participation. We have had some discussions about looking at a joint venture, an immunized relationship. That is something both of us are keen to pursue. Asia is a very important market. It’s probably the fastest growing area in the industry,” Willie Walsh, CEO. Source: Bloomberg, 30-Mar-2011.