In the last few days, Finnair has announced plans to more closely co-operate with British Airways on flights to Japan.
British Airways currently operates a joint-service agreement with fellow oneworld member JAL on flights between the UK & Japan. This agreement allows the airlines to share revenue as well co-ordinate schedules and fares on direct flights between London Heathrow & Tokyo as well as on connecting flights to whole host of onward destinations. Finnair has now applied to the relevant aviation authorities in the EU and Japan to join this partnership, with operations expected to commence towards the end of this year.
Commenting on the plan, CEO Pekka Vaurumo stated: “Japan is one of Finnair’s core markets and we look forward to the benefits this strategic joint business agreement will bring to our customers and other stakeholders”.
This move by the Finnish carrier follows on from a similar agreement, operationally effective from today, to join the joint service agreement between British Airways, Iberia & American Airlines on fights between Europe and the USA. From today, Finnair passengers can much more easily access bookings on the other 3 carriers while, in return, Finnair will ease connections on routes within Finland, Scandinavia and beyond. With immediate effect, Finnair has added its AY code to all transatlantic flights on British Airways, Iberia & American Airlines.
As a result of this increased co-operation, customers of the 4 airlines will now have access to 102 daily round trips between 42 different destinations across Europe & the USA.
For British Airways in particular, flights between London and the USA form its most important market and the airline is keen to both defend and strengthen its position. As already reported, Delta & Virgin Atlantic have also applied to form their own joint service agreement on flights across the Atlantic while, next year, the opening of Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 will allow British Airways’ competitors to better co-ordinate routes and schedules at the airline’s home base.