18-Dec-2009 11:41 AM

Japan to review US-Japan market share figures; disappointed in American's presentation

Japan Government made the following statements regarding Japan Airlines’ proposed international partners, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines (Bloomberg/Kyodo, 17-Dec-2009):

  • Japan-US market share contradictions: Japan Transport Minister, Seiji Maehara, stated Japan would review the potential market shares of a proposed Delta-JAL alliance after American Airlines cited "conflicting" numbers. American argued that Delta-JAL would not be granted antitrust immunity, since they would hold a share of over 60% in the Japan-US market. Delta maintains the partnership would not face any regulatory hurdles and “can absolutely be approved”;
  • American Airlines proposal: Mr Maehara added that he expected a more positive explanation from American on the merits of its potential tie-up with JAL.  
  • Delta's proposed tie-up with third party for JAL investment: Delta CEO, Richard Anderson, confirmed the carrier is ready to team up with a third party, such as an investment fund, to increase its proposed investment in JAL. The carrier’s spokesman, Trebor Banstetter, added, “a partnership with SkyTeam provides the best long-term option for Japan Airlines to thrive, with revenue opportunities that greatly exceed those of its current alliance”.

Japan Government: “There were differences between the American Air explanation and the figures I understood. I have asked for them to be checked...American promoted itself to a certain extent, but it spent most of the time explaining why JAL cannot partner with Delta. To be honest, I wish they had given us a slightly more forward-looking explanation...Since JAL is seeking aid from a scheme built on the use of taxpayers’ money, which partner it chooses will be major point that will make a huge difference to how the money is utilized,” Seiji Maehara, Transport Minister. Source: Bloomberg/Kyodo News, 17-Dec-2009.

Delta Air Lines: ‘‘We are prepared to work with constituencies if there is a need or desire to use our agreement and our investment to increase participation by others,’’ Richard Anderson, CEO. Source: Kyodo News, 17-Dec-2009.