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Monday, February 8, 2010

Are you sure you want to pick AA, JAL?

Different media, including The Wall Street Journal, are now reporting that Japan Airlines has picked American Airlines over Delta. Mainly because of the costs and risks involved in switching alliance. And the new CEO Dr. Inamori had a friendly chat with his buddy at Washington regarding ATI approval on JAL and DL tie up. After that he has made up his mind. Supposing there will be a JAL press conference later today announcing their decision. While you guys are still cheering or mourning for the rumored alliance decision, here is something from The Wall Street Journal to read about: Agencies to Fault American on Maintenance. After reading this, I can't help but question whether JAL has picked the right US partner.

All of you should know, safety is and will always be the top priority in aviation. According to the WSJ report, AA will be criticized in the upcoming reports released by two different US agencies regarding their serious maintenance lapses. This ranges from faulty engine-start systems repairs, repeated deferral of repairs, mechanics signing off work without required authority, etc. But the scary part is AA management did not understand the seriousness of these problems!

Senior managers at American, which performs more repairs in-house than any other large U.S. airline, have been aware of nagging maintenance difficulties for years, industry officials said. They said that even though American's internal safety-oversight system flagged substandard repairs early on, airline management failed to understand or promptly act on such warnings.

Look I would rather have lousy service than a plane that's falling apart. If AA has fixed this problem, great! Otherwise, please don't bring your "expertise" to JAL if you are picked as their partner. It's very nice of you to offer this in your OW rescue package, however, thanks but no thanks. JAL doesn't need and should never forgone safety and maintenance so that they can turn back into profit. If AA is still having these maintenance issues today, I really don't think AA is right for neither of JAL and OW. They should get kicked out of the alliance if they are to continue this practice.


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