Hawaiian, Japan airlines seek to coordinate flights

KAILUA-KONA (AP) — Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Airlines have submitted paperwork seeking to join forces to potentially bring hundreds of thousands of more people to Hawaii.

The airlines have recently filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Japanese government requesting immunity from antitrust laws to create a joint venture, West Hawaii Today reported Saturday.

The partnership would allow the companies to coordinate flight schedules and share certain costs and revenues as well as work together on marketing and advertising, the airlines said in the filings.

The venture would “dramatically increase seamless service options for the traveling public,” allowing the airlines to link operations in the region, they said.

The partnership would open up 34 destinations to Hawaiian Airlines passengers, including service to 28 locations in Japan and six other sites, such as Guam and Hong Kong. Passengers of Japan Airlines would have access to six additional locations in Hawaii.

“Hawaiian, a relatively small carrier, has encountered difficulties trying to break into international markets as a new entrant,” the airline stated in the application. “The Department’s grant of (antitrust immunization) in this proceeding would allow Hawaiian to overcome these obstacles, leading to increased competition and more choices for consumers.”

The companies estimate the partnership would bring an additional 162,000 to 350,000 passengers to Hawaii and generate between 1,855 and 4,049 jobs in the U.S. The U.S. economy could see annual contribution of up to $402.3 million, according to the airlines.

The airlines are hoping to launch the joint venture next year if they are granted approval this year.