JAL and Qantas welcome American-US Airways deal

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Oneworld carriers Japan Airlines (JAL) and Qantas Airways see the merger of US Airways and American Airlines as a positive development which could potentially strengthen their networks.

"The merger will expand the network of American [Airlines] and as a codeshare, joint business and alliance partners, there will be increased potential for JAL to offer our collective customers a wider, more comprehensive network," says a JAL spokesman.

Qantas, meanwhile, says that it is too early to speculate on possible changes to its network, but that the merger is a "positive development" for both its partnership with the US carrier as well as the Oneworld alliance.

"The agreement with US Airways means that American is set to come out of restructuring [as] a bigger, stronger airline," adds the spokesman.

The new American will be a member of the Oneworld alliance after the merger, although US Airways was a Star Alliance member.

American has immunised joint venture alliances with JAL to Japan, and with Qantas to Australia.

American and US Airways announced on 14 February plans to merge in an $11 billion deal that will create the world's largest airline. The combined carrier will be based in Fort Worth, Texas and will carry more than 170 million passengers. It will also retain the American name.