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Friday, April 9, 2010

JAL COO: Not withdrawing from US/Europe and possible terminal moves

oneworld alliance held a summit at Los Angeles yesterday. Japan Airlines' (JAL) COO Masaru Onishi represents JAL. This is the first meeting after JAL reconfirmed its commitments to OW and JAL is one of the focuses on yesterday's summit. Kyodo interviewed Onishi at the summit and he made a couple of comments about recent rumors on JAL's restructuring plan including the one that fears me (and probably some other US/European travelers) most :)

Are there going to be more job cuts than originally planned?
Onishi: Yes, we need to dig deep and move up the timeline and possibly increase the scale of the cut (Nikkei*)

Will JAL withdraw from US and Europe and focus only on Asia?
NO! JAL will cut the routes based on profitability not region! If operating a certain route will maximize JAL's cash flow, JAL will keep the route. Withdrawing completely from US and Europe is not gong to help JAL's cash flow.

We need to maximize our cash flow in order to fulfill our biggest mission...to firmly pay back government-backed funds. We would do it if withdrawal from Europe and the United States would maximize our cash flow. But that's not the case and there is no point in engaging in that debate. (Kyodo via mcot.net)


How about moving terminals in the US and Europe?
Onishi said they will "positively consider" moving terminals in London (LHR), New York (JFK), Chicago (ORD) and Los Angeles (LAX). This will make connection much easier at those AA and BA hubs/focus city. So if JAL going to move from TBIT at LAX to AA's terminal, that means bye bye OW lounge :( I love the hot food there and even the restaurants are better at TBIT than AA's...I wish the terminals are connected airside like the ones at SFO :(

You can find a video report on the OW summit on news 24 and here is the original Kyodo article in Japanese.

* Sorry I can't link to Nikkei anymore because of reasons reported by NY Times. Instead I will give you the google search result link. Thanks William for the reminder

Similar Posts:
Rumor: Frequency reductions on 7 NRT routes
Rumor: List of 31 JAL domestic routes to be suspended
Rumor: List of 29 JAL international routes to be suspended by March 2011
Rumor: JAL to cut 16,500 jobs by March 2011

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