It's Friday and perhaps I'm grasping at straws. But yesterday during Continental's earning's discussion carrier CEO Jeff Smisek was asked about the timeline for approval of a transpacific joint venture for Continental, United and ANA, and gave a somewhat interesting answer.
"I am not even going to attempt to prognosticate on how quickly DOT and DOT can go through the process.... the applications for antitrust immunity with repesct to the treaty [Japan-US open skies], I belive are due in February."
The three Star carriers quickly submittted their application for antitrust approval in December 2009 after the open skies deal with Japan was concluded.
In the mean time you all know JAL has sought bankruptcy protection while weighing offers from American and oneoworld and Delta and SkyTeam for captial infusions.
So, if applications need to be submitted for review by US regulators in February, shouldn't JAL firm up its transpacific partner by then? Let me know if I'm off on this one.