Agreement is said to be close on important talks in Washington between US and Japanese government representatives to open up the trans-Pacific airways between the two countries, so allowing carriers from both countries more direct
access to each countries' airports.
The talks are taking place at an interesting time, considering that Japan Airlines is now looking to the Japanese Government for a $7bn bail out, as reported by TREND earlier this week and both American Airlines and equity group TPG have offered a $1.1bn cash injection to JAL – in addition to the quite separate $1bn offer from Delta Air Lines provided JAL leaves the Oneworld airline alliance and joins the SkyTeam alliance.
These offers would appear to be dependent on progress being made in these talks, although there is no indication yet whether JAL will accept – or be allowed to accept – either of these respective offers from the US carriers.
If the trans-Pacific talks are successful then this would theoretically pave the way for US carriers to have more direct access to Tokyo Narita Airport in particular.
However, some US airlines – including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and FedEx – may not be so keen on any further opening up of Japan's air service market, since they already enjoy special status to operate services to Japanese airports.
For its part, the Japanese government wants the talks to deliver more flexibility for its airlines – primarily JAL – to operate to US airports – either directly, or through its Oneworld tie-ups with other member airlines.