New Cathay Japan chief hopes JAL stays in oneworld

by Kazuaki Nagata

While news about Japan Airlines Corp. possibly tying up with a foreign carrier has made headlines recently, Simon Large, newly appointed general manager of Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. in Japan, said Thursday that JAL is an important part of the oneworld alliance and he hopes it will stay that way.

“This alliance has very complementary carriers in it. . . . All work together extremely well,” Large said during a meeting with reporters in Tokyo.

“The value of that is enormous. So I believe being part of oneworld creates significant value for JAL as well in revenue and other benefits when compared to any other alternatives maybe out there today,” he said.

Members of the same alliance can benefit from things like sharing frequent-flier services and airport lounges, as well as code-sharing flights.

Oneworld members include JAL, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines and British Airways.

Financially troubled JAL has been in negotiations with AMR, the parent company of American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines Inc., in hopes of getting some capital investment.

Delta belongs to SkyTeam, so if JAL were to partner with Delta it would likely have to switch to the other alliance.

“It’s my genuine hope that JAL remain in the oneworld alliance at this critical time,” Large said.