• Kyodo News


Japan Airlines Corp. will tie up with Delta Air Lines Inc. and leave the oneworld alliance for SkyTeam in April 2011, sources close to the matter said Sunday.

A formal decision on the deal will be made by the end of the month, they said.

Although President Haruka Nishimatsu will step down after JAL files for bankruptcy protection Tuesday, other board members will remain to formalize the deal with Delta, the sources said.

The Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp. of Japan, the state-backed entity sponsoring the rehabilitation, believes teaming up with America’s largest carrier will produce a ¥17.2 billion windfall each year for money-losing JAL.

That’s three times more than the ¥5.4 billion in benefits projected from the tieup proposed with American Airlines Inc., JAL’s current partner in oneworld, they said.

JAL and Delta are expected to file for antitrust immunity with the U.S. Department of Transportation by Feb. 15 so they can jointly operate trans-Pacific services, the sources said.

Delta has offered to shoulder up to ¥30 billion of the expenses JAL would incur for exiting oneworld and switching to the SkyTeam alliance.

JAL will likely switch partners for European services to the Air France-KLM Group, another member of SkyTeam.

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