The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has approved IAG airline Iberia to be included in the Joint Venture between IAG’s British Airways, Finnair, and Japan Airlines on routes to Japan.
Iberia is expected to join the existing JV starting on 18 October 2016, and will launch non-stop service between Madrid and Tokyo on that day. The new route will be served by Iberia’s new A330-200 aircraft. The airline will offer three flights per week from Madrid to Tokyo.
“We are very happy to launch our non-stop flights to Japan as part of this joint business. We want to offer our customers more and better travel options and this will help us do so. We are also glad to contribute to the strength of the joint business and the one world alliance,” said Luis Gallego, President and CEO of Iberia.
The airline had previously announced its intent to launch routes to Tokyo, along with new routes to Shanghai, in January.
The JV between Japan Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, and now Iberia allows the airlines to cooperate commercially on flights between Europe and Japan, offering customers with a larger network, more flights, and better connections. The airlines also partner on frequent flyer programs. As the airlines are oneworld alliance members, this JV also lends a competitive advantage to the alliance as a whole.
- Finnair flies daily from Helsinki to Tokyo Narita, Osaka, Nagoya and three times a week to Fukuoka.
- British Airways offers two daily flights from London Heathrow to Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports.
- Japan Airlines operates daily services from Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports to Paris, from Haneda to London and from Narita to Frankfurt and Helsinki.
“We would like to thank the regulators for approving our ATI application for Iberia joining Japan Airlines, British Airways and Finnair in our current joint business between Japan and Europe,” said Yoshiharu Ueki, President of JAL. “This move will allow us to further strengthen our partnership with oneworld partner airlines, and will provide our customers with further benefits for travels between Japan and Europe.”
“We are delighted our sister airline Iberia will be joining our oneworld partners in the joint business. The addition of more European flights to Japan, along with the benefits of co-ordinated schedules and frequent flyer rewards is fantastic news for consumers. Iberia’s direct flights between Narita and Madrid will be a very popular addition,” said Alex Cruz, President and chief executive of British Airways.
Pekka Vauramo, CEO of Finnair, said, “The addition of Iberia to our existing joint business between Europe and Japan is a great asset and we look forward to working closely with all our partners in this alliance. We are especially pleased with the benefits and opportunities this will generate for our oneworld customers travelling between both continents.”