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Japan Airlines partners with VietJet to boost Southeast Asian feed for trans-Pacific network

In a pragmatic partnership of the odd couple, Japan Airlines and VietJet Airlines are coming together in a codeshare partnership.

One of Asia's most storied, yet legacy, airlines is teaming up with one of Asia's youngest airlines, which has quickly amassed domestic Vietnam market share while pushing the boundaries with bikini uniforms. So, while the two partners may appear to be ill matched, they are undoubtedly influenced by the existing partnership between their respective rivals – All Nippon Airways and Vietnam Airlines.

JAL and VietJet plan to codeshare on Japan-Vietnam routes and domestic flights. There is considerable attention being given to JAL using VietJet as its partner to reach further into Southeast Asia, but VietJet has a limited Southeast Asian footprint. VietJet would later like access to JAL's North America network, and JAL needs a partner with a lower cost base to provide feed from key Southeast Asian source markets onto JAL's North America flights.

Domestically VietJet is nearly the same size as Vietnam Airlines, but internationally Vietnam Airlines is much larger and enjoys its status as the national airline. JAL is in a new era, free of restrictions. A VietJet partnership could bring benefits; and JAL also has other opportunities to explore.

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