This broke on Friday, and I thought it could do with a bit more analysis than the usual two lines in the Friday Roundup
Japan Airlines is in one heck of a state at the moment – with it hanging onto bailout money and doing service cuts by the the planeload.
So it seems a white knight in shining amour has appeared in the form of Delta.
When you step back and think about this – it could be quite a smart move for Delta. It’s alliance – SkyTeam – is turning into quite a precarious position with the migration of Continental to Star Alliance. By providing the “support” of capital, management and “advice”, they could in turn fold JAL into SkyTeam, forcing OneWorld to really panic (as this create a Japan/North Asia sized hole with Cathy Pacific and S7 to fill the gap)
Notice the word could – Delta just could give the money and sell the stake back at a later point – unlikely but possible.
However, there appears to be a second party sniffing around JAL – and that’s good old American Airlines – one of the founders of OneWorld – With AA stepping in to help, this could strengthen the TPAC traffic routes, and secure JAL in OneWorld (which would please a lot of the partners)
This year is going to be hard for airlines – I’d expect some more consolidation along the line and people buying up each others airlines. Once the upturn in the economy swings its way – consolidation will occur rapidly. All the airlines are playing this close to themselves, so all we can do is watch the dance…
All interesting times…