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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rumor: JAL wants Air France-KLM's $$ too!

NHK has released more information about the Japan Airlines possible financial tie-up with other airlines. It now reports JAL is looking for tie-up not only with Delta, but with Air France-KLM too.

According to NHK news,

Japan Airlines is seeking a capital injection of about 50 billion yen, or some 550 million dollars, from US carrier Delta Airlines.

The struggling Japanese airline company has been pursuing capital tie-ups with Delta Air Lines and European carrier Air France-KLM in an effort to fundamentally reform its operations.

Top JAL executives are rumored to be in the US right now negotiating with Delta on the deal. If both deals come through, JAL will form a truly global and biggest tie-up with Delta and Air France (one more step towards Delta's world domination LOL)

Japan's Transportation Minister expressed his "approval" on such tie-up and hope JAL can rebound while maintaining its brand image (me too, please don't follow Delta and Air France's standards LOL). To spice up the rumor, Ryuhei Maeda, director-general of Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau said the rumor is "probably true". After all he's the one who originally suggested a cooperation with Delta.

However Nikkei Business Daily reports a senior JAL official said the Delta tie-up would be difficult because of AA. But if what Kyodo News reports is true, JAL and Oneworld doesn't sound like a happy marriage. It reports an unnamed JAL senior official said ''The merits of belonging to Oneworld are small". People expect JAL and AA would have similar negotiation too.

Hopefully we will find out more about all these crazy rumors when JAL present the outline of its restructuring plan to the restructuring panel next Tuesday.

Sources:
Kyodo News (OW merits are small)
NHK News: Interview with Transportation Minister (video + article)
NHK News: More detail on the rumor (video + transcript)
Reuters
Bloomberg (Ryuhei Maeda's quote)

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