* Regulators say airline alliances counted little in
* JAL says it regrets regulators response, will consider
TOKYO Nov 5 Japan's government said on Tuesday
it was sticking to a handout of new landing rights at Tokyo's
Haneda airport that Japan Airlines complained was
unfair because it gave local rival ANA Holdings twice
as many of the slots.
Japan's aviation regulators responded to a request from JAL
for a review of the allocation submitted a month ago, sticking
to its decision to give JAL five new slots compared with 11 for
"It's water under the bridge," Shigenori Hiraoka, director
of aviation industries at Japan's Civil Aviation Bureau, told
Reuters. The bureau has never revised slot allocations, he said.
JAL's president Yoshiharu Ueki told Reuters last month that
his company reserved the right to sue the government for
favouring ANA in allocating landing rights at Haneda, the
world's fourth busiest airport.
"We regret the Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport
did not correct the allocation," said JAL spokesman Jian Yang.
"We are considering the next step."
Each slot can be worth around $20 million a year each in
operating profit. ANA will be allowed it to ply new routes in
Asia from Haneda, while JAL has to stick to existing
Regulators reiterated on Tuesday that it did not want to let
JAL open up new routes because a state-led $3.5 billion bailout
of the carrier in 2010 that resulted in most of its debt being
waived gave it a competitive edge over ANA.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, which was in
opposition at the time of JAL's rescue, was sympathetic to ANA's
call for using the slots to blunt JAL.
ANA is a member of Star Alliance, and the new landing rights
will boost the group's share of daytime international flights at
Haneda to 52 percent from 47 percent, leaving Oneworld, which
includes JAL, British Airways American Airlines and
other carriers, with just under a quarter.
In its reply to JAL, the aviation bureau said it had not
given much weight to alliances because they may change over