Japan Airlines is forging a partnership with Aeroflot – Russian Airlines that will begin with code-share flights and possibly shared mileage programs, and might evolve into closer cooperation, JAL announced Monday.
Details will be ironed out later, but JAL said the code-share flights would begin in or after fiscal 2018 for Tokyo-Moscow flights and for the two airlines’ respective domestic routes.
Travel between Japan and Russia has been on the rise since January 2017, when visa requirements were relaxed, and the traffic will only increase as economic relations between the two nations pick up. JAL and Aeroflot will cooperate to offer flights.
The two airlines now fly into different airports in Moscow, so to make transfers more convenient for passengers they will look into using the same airport. In the future, the companies may take the next step beyond code-share and forge a closer partnership by adjusting their flights and schedules.
Aeroflot is part of the SkyTeam alliance, whereas JAL is part of the Oneworld alliance. Code-share and mileage program cooperation typically are features of airlines that belong to the same alliance, but JAL is keen to broaden its flight network and is willing to look beyond its alliance to do so as effectively as possible.
Aeroflot is just the most recent example of this strategy, as JAL is already making partnerships outside Oneworld with the Southeast Asian budget carrier Vietjet Air, the U.S. carrier Hawaiian Airlines and Mexico’s flag carrier Aeromexico.