Star Alliance carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA), Continental Airlines and United Airlines are studying having revenue sharing services on trans-Pacific routes.

The catalyst for the move is the US-Japan air services negotiations that are underway, says an ANA official, who wishes to remain anonymous.

These government talks include a proposed 'open skies' agreement for the Japan-USA market, as well as international traffic rights Tokyo's Haneda airport, says the official.

ANA, Continental and United are Star Alliance members and would ordinarily look to co-operate by having codeshare and interline agreements. But the ANA official confirms that the talks between the three cover a deeper level of co-operation.

The three are considering starting a joint-venture for trans-Pacific flights and having revenue sharing flights, says the official, who was responding to public remarks made by Continental's chief executive Larry Kellner.

Kellner has stated that in response to 'open skies', Continental and its partners will look to take advantage of anti-trust immunity to establish a joint-venture for the trans-Pacific market.

The ANA official says that there will be a limited number of international landing slots at Tokyo Haneda, and so it makes sense for carriers to work together in providing international services to that airport.

Tokyo Haneda is a domestic airport but thanks to a fourth runway under development, it will officially handle scheduled international flights as of October 2010.

Tokyo Haneda is next to Tokyo's city-centre. The opening of international services there could be a boon to carriers, particularly to those catering to time-conscious business travellers.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news