Japan Airlines (JAL) and China Eastern Airlines reached (26-Sep-2011) an agreement to greatly expand their codeshare partnership to include their entire China-Japan networks. Starting from 08-Oct-2011, the airlines will place their respective flight designators “JL” and “MU” on every flight operated by the other, between cities in China and Japan. The deeper relationship will add Yantai to the JAL network of 15 Chinese cities, and Shizuoka, Okayama and Nagasaki to the China Eastern existing network of 12 Japanese cities. The carriers have been codeshare partners since Sep-2002 and have offered a reciprocal frequent flyer programme since 01-Feb-2008. [more - original PR]
JAL and China Eastern Airlines greatly expand codeshare
You may also be interested in the following articles...
China-Japan aviation: LCCs Peach, Jetstar Japan gain traffic rights, raising overcapacity concerns
Jetstar Japan and Peach Aviation have received air traffic rights for China which, if utilised, would grow the Japanese LCC footprint in China – Japan's largest visitor source market. Spring Japan became the first Japanese LCC to serve China in Feb-2016. The absence of Japanese LCCs in China may seem surprising, but there are regulatory hurdles, market access questions and conservatism at Japanese LCCs. AirAsia Japan, launching in 2017, will likely leverage the group's China experience; it is the largest non-greater China airline group serving China.
The prospect of further growth comes as incumbents cite overcapacity. What was once a profitable market now only produces returns in the peaks. All Nippon Airways, the largest airline between Japan and China, reported lower revenue on the back of "a deterioration in the supply-demand environment". Spring China has told Bloomberg that some competitors "aren't well-prepared", and will be "phased out". Overall Japanese LCC routes and capacity may be small but will be watched by Chinese airlines, ever mindful of the need to find new business models.
Northeast Asia's outlook remains bright – and perhaps more so than before
A few years ago amidst the economic downturn it was Northeast Asia – with its main Chinese market – that was a strategic bright spot for aviation.