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Malaysia Airlines seeks clearance for JAL tie-up

Malaysia Airlines is seeking clearance from its regulator for a proposed metal-neutral joint venture with Japan Airlines covering routes between the two countries.

A notice from the Malaysian Aviation Commission shows that the joint venture would allow the two carriers to co-ordinate schedules, capacity, sales and marketing and revenue planning on their passenger services between Japan and Malaysia.

A summary of the carriers’ application states that the proposed joint business would “realise significant consumer and economic benefits, and efficiencies that can be achieved through commercial cooperation in relation to the Parties’ respective networks.”

It adds that if the two Oneworld carriers were granted regulatory clearance for the tie-up, the strong competition from both direct and indirect operators is “expected to continue to exert competitive pressure on the Parties.”

Cirium schedules data shows that in May, Malaysia Airlines is scheduled to operate 50,044 seats between the two countries, putting it in second place behind market leader AirAsia X which will operate 70,499 seats. JAL, meanwhile, will only operate 11,904 seats, putting it behind rival All Nippon Airways’ 30,544 seats.

The proposal is subject to clearance from MAVCOM and Japan’s transport ministry, and no indicative timeframe for those approvals was provided.

The Malaysian regulator is taking public comments on the proposal until 27 May.

JAL is also awaiting regulatory clearance for proposed network joint ventures with Hawaiian Airlines and China Eastern Airlines.

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