• Kyodo News


American Airlines Inc. said Wednesday it remains open to enhancing its financial package for cash-strapped Japan Airlines Corp. as it makes a final pitch to keep JAL in its marketing alliance in the face of a flurry of media reports that the Japanese carrier will partner with rival Delta Air Lines Inc. instead.

Michael Wascom, American Airlines’ managing director in charge of international and government affairs, added the carrier could share its corporate turnaround expertise, while other oneworld alliance partners also stand ready to play an “integral” role in helping JAL stave off bankruptcy.

“Our proposal is a very fluid document that is constantly being reviewed and considerations are being given if necessary to adjust it accordingly,” Wascom said in Tokyo.

“We want to make sure, under any future scenario, that we are offering the most useful, beneficial total value package to Japan Airlines,” including personnel resources that have helped the U.S. carrier to avoid bankruptcy during its own financial troubles, he said.

American Airlines, a unit of AMR Corp., has previously said that it is prepared to invest up to $1.1 billion with other members of the oneworld alliance led by American Airlines and British Airways PLC, as well as U.S. private equity firm TPG Inc.

But media reports said JAL is leaning toward defecting to Delta because, among other reasons, it has a more expansive trans-Pacific network than American. If that happens, JAL will likely switch allegiance from oneworld to the rival SkyTeam grouping led by Delta and Air France-KLM Group.

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