The Fair Trade Commission is expected to approve a revised merger plan submitted Tuesday by Japan Airlines and Japan Air System.
The revised plan, aimed at allaying the concerns of the antimonopoly watchdog, includes a set of remedial measures to promote competition in the air industry, such as giving up 10 landing slots out of the 180 the two hold at Tokyo’s Haneda airport, informed sources said.
The 180 slots would exceed the 150 held by All Nippon Airways.
A JAL spokesman declined to discuss details of the plan, only saying, “(The revised plan) dealt with a set of problems concerning the planned merger pointed out by the FTC on March 15. We earnestly hope the FTC will approve it.”
All landing slots at Haneda are currently occupied, making it difficult for new entrants to get in. But if JAL and JAS offer the 10, the government will encourage other carriers to take them.
JAL and JAS are also expected to offer part of their check-in counters and other airport facilities to newcomers after the merger, the sources said.
The two airlines said in January they will set up a holding company, Japan Airlines System, on Oct. 2, and merge their operations into three group firms by spring 2004.
The FTC told them March 15 the merger plan is anticompetitive because it would cut the number of major players in the domestic market to two from three. The other is ANA.
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