British Airways, JAL plan joint business

LONDON Wed Feb 8, 2012 4:08am EST

British Airways logos are seen on tailfins at Heathrow Airport in west London May 12, 2011.  REUTERS/Toby Melville

British Airways logos are seen on tailfins at Heathrow Airport in west London May 12, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

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LONDON (Reuters) - British Airways and Japan Airlines (JAL) JALFQ.PK have agreed a revenue-sharing deal for flights between Europe and Japan, potentially giving their oneworld alliance more competitive muscle.

The joint venture would lead to more choice of flights and could lead to more routes, BA's parent International Airlines Group (IAG) (ICAG.L) said on Wednesday.

"Despite the difficulties the Japanese aviation market has faced in recent years, we have great confidence in JAL's business outlook and the overall market's future prospects," IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh said.

Walsh has previously indicated that IAG, formed between BA and Spanish airline Iberia, was keen to pursue a joint venture with JAL, praising the carrier's recovery from last year's devastating earthquake.

The Japanese airline, which forms part of the oneworld alliance with BA and American Airlines (AAMRQ.PK), emerged from bankruptcy last March and is planning to relist this year.

JAL has submitted an application to the Japanese government seeking antitrust immunity and IAG was in contact with the European Union, IAG said.

(Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by David Holmes)

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