The merger of Japan Airlines (JAL) and Japan Air System (JAS) was formalised at the beginning of October with the start of trading in a new joint holding company. Japan Airlines System Corp began trading on the Tokyo stock exchange on 2 October. Trading in the shares of separate companies JAL and JAS was suspended on 25 September.

JAL and JAS announced late last year that they would merge their operations and final government approval was secured earlier this year. The two were required to make some concessions, including the lowering of some domestic fares and the release of a handful of slots at Tokyo's busy Haneda airport to other operators.

The combining of operations is not expected to be completed before April 2004. The new airline will retain the Japan Airlines name but will feature a new livery.

Source: Airline Business