After his first formal meeting with his fellow oneworld Alliance chiefs Japan Airlines’ new president Masaru Onishi has concluded it would be diffcult for most carriers to withstand current operating conditions without being a member of one of the leading global airline alliances.
It’s an endorsement oneworld, led fiercely by American Airlines, has worked to sustain during the last few months as Delta was just as intense in its efforts to lure JAL over to the SkyTeam grouping.
You know how it turned out. JAL opted to stay with Oneworld as it seeks to revitalise itself through a formal restructuring and government support.
Now JAL has teams in Dallas at American’s HQ studying the carrier’s approach to maintenance, purchasing and other aspects of the business, says Onishi, who delivered a speech at the conclusion of the Oneworld Governing board meeting on 8 April in Los Angeles.
It’s a different type of support American is lending to JAL than its pledge of $1.4 billion in financing offered by American, other oneworld carriers and venture capital firm TPG.
American chief Gerard Arpey says investement discussions are taking a “back seat” to other commercial opportunities between American and JAL. While financial assistance virtually topped the list of cooperation between the two carriers during the battle to keep JAL in the oneworld fold, Arpey says there “is not as much interest” in that particular type of aid at this point.
So as the financial pledges seem to fade away and the knowledge sharing starts Arpey believes JAL is “taking the appropriate steps to what we believe will be a successful restructuring”. Onishi and new JAL chairman Kazuo Inamori are banking on that outcome.
Here’s a quickly snapped shot of the chiefs after their meeting concluded.