Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Airlines have filed applications with the authorities in the U.S. and Japan seeking permission to enter into a joint venture with antitrust exemptions.
The joint venture would allow the two companies to coordinate marketing and sales efforts and share some costs and revenue on shared routes. Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Airlines launched a codeshare partnership in March.
The two airlines have filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation and Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism seeking antitrust immunity for the partnership. If approved, it would be Hawaiian Airlines' first joint venture and the first one in the U.S. that does not involve one of the three largest U.S. carriers, according to a statement from Hawaiian Airlines.
In requesting the antitrust exemption, the airlines are arguing the new relationship will benefit consumers, lowering fares and increasing capacity. The companies estimate the venture would generate an additional 162,000 to 350,000 passengers to the Aloha State and contribute between $184.5 million and $402.3 million to the U.S. economy annually, while generating between 1,855 to 4,049 jobs in the U.S.
"We have long admired JAL's excellent service, which corresponds well with the authentic Hawaiian hospitality we offer," Peter Ingram, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, said in a statement. "This joint venture will combine two premier brands in the highly competitive Japan-Hawaii market, and travelers from both of our countries will benefit."
If approved, the joint venture would expand Hawaiian Airlines' access to 34 destinations throughout Japan and other locations in Asia. Japan Airlines would reap improved access to Hawaiian Airlines' Neighbor Island network as well as its nonstop flights to Honolulu from Haneda and Sapporo.
Hawaiian and Japan Airlines are hoping for approval later this year, with a planned launch of the partnership in the second quarter of 2019.