Mexicana and JAL to expand codeshare as JAL drops Mexico City

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Oneworld members Mexicana and Japan Airlines (JAL) are expanding their codeshare partnership to include additional flights between Japan and Mexico as JAL prepares to cease its own Mexico City operation.

The two carriers say in a joint statement today that the central Mexican city of Leon will be added to their codeshare. JAL from 14 January will start placing its code on Mexicana's five weekly flights from Los Angeles to Leon. JAL already carries Mexicana's code on its daily Tokyo-Los Angeles service.

Leon will be the fifth Mexican city covered under the codeshare, joining Guadalajara, Cancun, Los Cabos and Mexico City. Guadalajara, Cancun and Los Cabos are now served via Los Angeles while Mexico City is served via Los Angeles and Vancouver.

Beginning 14 January JAL will also begin carrying Mexicana's code on its daily Tokyo-San Francisco flight. San Francisco will become a new transit point for JAL-Mexicana passengers as Mexicana at the same time will add JAL's code on one of its San Francisco-Mexico City services.

JAL and Mexicana passengers going between Tokyo and Mexico City also have the option of transiting in Canada. JAL currently operates the Tokyo-Vancouver-Mexico City route twice per week. On the remaining days JAL operates Tokyo-Vancouver and Mexicana offers flights from Vancouver to Mexico City. But JAL in November announced it would stop flying to Mexico City and close its Mexico City office as part of a major network restructuring at the loss making carrier.

JAL's last Mexico City flight will be operated on 18 January. But JAL and Mexicana say their codeshare service on the Tokyo-Vancouver-Mexico City route will be expanded on 18 January from five to seven weekly flights, ensuring their Tokyo-Mexico City passengers continue to have the option of transiting in Vancouver on a daily basis.

For some passengers being able to connect between JAL and Mexicana in Vancouver is a more attractive option than transiting in Los Angeles or San Francisco because it avoids having to secure a US visa. JAL and Mexicana compete on the Mexico City-Tokyo route against SkyTeam member Aeromexico, which continues to operate two weekly flights on the route featuring a stop in Tijuana.

JAL and Mexicana have been codesharing since 2005. JAL subsequently joined Oneworld in 2007 and Mexicana joined the alliance last year. The carriers say in today's statement that "through the expansion of their partnership, Japan Airlines and Mexican look forward to strengthening their respective offerings and network, and jointly present valued customers with evermore options and convenience."