• Joe Breitfeller

Qantas and Japan Airlines Form New Joint Business to Accelerate Tourism Recovery

The carriers have announced plans to form a new joint business to better serve customers between Australia, New Zealand and Japan in support of the tourism industry. Applications have been submitted to regulators with the expectation of a July 2021 launch.


Qantas and Japan Airlines to Form Joint Business Partnership - Images Courtesy Boeing

On Wednesday (December 23, 2020) Qantas announced the formation of a joint business with Japan Airlines to enhance services for customers traveling between Australia, New Zealand and Japan in the hopes of supporting the tourism recovery. Pending the appropriate regulatory approvals, the carriers anticipate a July 2021 launch of the new joint business partnership. By coordinating through a joint business agreement, the airlines will be able to ramp up flights between Australia and Japan sooner than otherwise possible.


The proposed five-year agreement will deliver substantial benefits to guests of both airlines including optimized schedules on flights between Australia, New Zealand and Japan with seamless further connections beyond major gateways. Qantas customers will have access to 12 new codeshare destinations in Japan, while JAL customers will have convenient access to 15 new codeshare destinations in Australia and New Zealand. The agreement will also provide improved frequent flyer benefits, including the ability to earn Qantas points or JAL miles on additional routes as well as the ability to upgrade using points or miles. Additionally, Qantas will be able to offer a greater number of Business and Premium Economy seats on JAL flights.


In Wednesday’s announcement, Qantas Group’s CEO, Alan Joyce, said,


“Around half a million people visited Australia from Japan in 2019. We want to see that tourism resume and grow even further by making it easier for Japanese travellers to visit. The joint business means we’ll be able to build on our existing relationship with JAL through oneworld to offer more routes, better flight connections and more benefits to frequent flyers. It also helps us diversify our portfolio of joint businesses amongst Australia’s key trading partners. It will be a win for our customers, a win for trade and a win for the one million people who work in tourism across Australia.”


Also commenting on the proposed joint venture agreement, Japan Airlines’ President, Yuji Akasaka added,


“For over 50 years, JAL and Qantas have operated flights between Japan and Australia, demonstrating our mutual commitment to support and strengthen the diplomatic relationship built by the two countries. We believe that a joint business with Qantas will make for a quicker recovery between both countries with the ability to expand connectivity within each carrier’s respective domestic network, providing more customer choice and travel growth opportunities.”



Source(s) Qantas, Japan Airlines