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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rumor: BA and AF are entering the JAL bidding war!?!?

The latest rumor suggests British Airways and possibly Qantas are entering the bidding war of Japan Airlines. If this is true, looks like Oneworld and Skyteam are fighting hard for JAL to stay in their alliance. And JAL ECO, Haruka Nishimatsu, confirmed the tie-up talks with different carriers but he also mentioned JAL will most likely choose ONE airlines for the tie-up.

According to report on TheStreet.com, BA is "deeply preoccupied" that JAL might join the SkyTeam.

In particular, British Airways is "deeply preoccupied" that JAL could partner with the SkyTeam alliance, which includes its rival AirFrance as well as Delta, the person said, noting, "All of the members of Oneworld, led by American, are profoundly interested in intensifying the relationship with JAL.

So could Cathay be next on the list? I highly doubt it. In some way CX might benefit from JAL leaving OneWorld since they will be the only carrier left in the Asia region.

On the other hand, according to Wall Street Journal, JAL confirms the tie-up talks with other airlines but declined to disclose which airlines they are talking to. But JAL would like to choose a partner by mid-October. (By the way, Nishimatsu-san doesn't look like a happy man in the picture. I can't imagine how many pressure this man is under...)

Speaking briefly Tuesday, JAL Chief Executive Haruka Nishimatsu declined to disclose the identity of the other carriers but said he expects a mid-October deadline to conclude talks. He said his company is likely to choose just one partner, adding that this partner won't necessarily become the biggest shareholder of JAL.

You got to love those insiders. All those rumors are quoting someone who wants to remain anonymous. We won't know for sure until JAL makes an announcement in October. Until then, let the craziness continues.

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