• Kyodo

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Troubled Air Do expects to seek a full-fledged alliance with All Nippon Airways, including a capital tieup, company sources said Friday.

ANA seems willing to tie up with Air Do, formally known as Hokkaido International Airlines, to counter intensifying competition from Japan Airlines and Japan Air System, which will join forces in October, according to the sources.

ANA is particularly interested in Air Do’s profitable Tokyo-Sapporo route, which operates six round-trip flights a week.

Air Do is expected to report accumulated losses of some 7.5 billion yen for the business year to March 31, with liabilities exceeding assets by 300 million yen.

Air Do had been exploring closer ties with JAL, because the two airlines already have a cooperative relationship. They share boarding gates, airport counters and other facilities.

But Air Do instead decided to seek an alliance with ANA because its ties with JAL are unlikely to offer greater advantages in the future, the sources said.

ANA looks set to press Air Do to reduce its 7.2 billion yen capital as a condition for any alliance, they added.

Los Angeles flights

American Airlines Inc. will launch daily services between Los Angeles and Narita airport on April 1.

Donald Carty, visiting chairman and chief executive of the airline, made the announcement, the third this year to expand U.S.-Japan routes, at a news conference in Tokyo on Friday.

It will bring the number of flights between Narita and five U.S. gateway cities to 39 a week, the highest figure in the airline’s 15 years in Japan.

Carty said he met Japan Airlines officials and reaffirmed the partnership with the country’s No. 1 airline, which is to integrate with Japan Air System Co. in the fall.

The chairman said he welcomes the JAL-JAS integration, saying it will strength JAL’s position in the domestic market and give American Airlines greater access to travelers from China and other parts of Asia.

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