Travel October 2012

Joining Forces

BA and JAL partner for better links, choice and benefits

In exciting news for travellers, British Airways (BA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) have established a joint business agreement on certain flights between Europe and Japan.

The new agreement, which took off on 1 October, will provide better links between Japan and Europe, while offering a greater choice of flights to more destinations. At the same time, frequent-flyer benefits will be enhanced and the potential to launch new routes will grow.

The airlines have agreed to co-operate on non-stop flights between Japan and Europe that are operated by either JAL or BA.

BA runs a daily service between London Heathrow and Narita International Airport and has five flights per week between London and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda).

JAL, meanwhile, has a daily service from Narita to Heathrow, to Germany’s Frankfurt International Airport and to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.

As members of the oneworld® alliance, one of the world’s three largest global airline partnerships, the two airlines increasingly have been forging new ties.

“We are proud to have served Japan for more than 60 years and are delighted to cement the relationship between British Airways and Japan Airlines. This new venture heralds a bigger and better service for our customers and the promise of greater co-operation in the future”, said Willie Walsh, chief executive of the International Airlines Group, parent firm of BA.

As well as 19 weekly flights between the UK and Japan operated by JAL and BA, JAL’s services to Paris and Frankfurt are also to be included in the new agreement. Customers can fly between Europe and Japan with either JAL or BA, or a combination of the two.

The two carriers have reached an agreement on fares between Europe and Japan, helping to increase customers’ options.

Flight transfers are expected to be improved through the enhancement and expansion of the airlines’ code-share network.

JAL customers may now book flights on four additional BA routes: Belfast, Helsinki, Frankfurt and Gothenburg, while commencing on 28 October, BA will fly to seven destinations in Japan. Among the airline’s new code-share destinations are Kansai, Okayama, Hiroshima, Izumo, Nagasaki, Kagoshima and Okinawa. More will be added in the future.

The airlines’ updated websites will allow customers to book flights, check in, and access any flight information they require, regardless of whether they are flying with BA or JAL.

Frequent flyers enrolled in BA’s and JAL’s loyalty schemes will still be able to receive joint benefits as customers of oneworld®.

Top tier members of both airlines’ loyalty schemes will have an increased opportunity to earn bonus points when flying with either carrier.

JAL Mileage Bank members will be able to collect more air miles than before when they fly with BA.

Yoshiharu Ueki, president of JAL, is looking forward to creating more customer benefits through deeper co-operation with BA, a long-time partner of JAL.

Ueki also hopes JAL will be able to offer customers even better service than before.