American to Move Its Asia-Pacific Regional Office to the Japan Airlines Building in Tokyo

Friday, September 3, 2010
By George Hatcher

Move Further Demonstrates Ties Between the Two Airlines

FORT WORTH, Texas, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ — American Airlines today announced it will move its Asia-Pacific Regional Office to the JAL Building, the headquarters of Japan Airlines (JAL), in the Shinagawa district of Tokyo. American plans to complete the move from its current office in Uchisaiwaicho by January 2011.

“With the lease on our current Tokyo office location due to expire in December 2010 we have been reviewing opportunities to relocate our regional office. After completing a comprehensive review of available commercial property in Tokyo, we have identified a mutually beneficial opportunity for American to move into vacant offices on the 25th floor of the Japan Airlines headquarters building,” said Theo Panagiotoulias, American’s Vice President and Managing Director – Asia-Pacific. “This move will provide us with excellent office space and meeting facilities, while offering convenience and easy access for our employees.”

Early in 2010, American and JAL jointly filed a request with the governments of both the United States and Japan to acquire antitrust immunity that will allow a Pacific joint business designed to benefit passengers, shippers, shareholders and employees, as well as other oneworld® Alliance partners. The two airlines are awaiting decisions from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

“With American’s proposed Pacific joint business with JAL anticipated to receive government approval by the end of this year, co-locating our offices with those of JAL will be beneficial and enable us to forge closer working relationships with our valued partner,” Panagiotoulias added. “We have been working closely so that we will be able to implement our joint business as quickly as possible after government approvals are received. We have also been discussing with JAL best practices in areas such as fuel hedging and aircraft management, all in an effort to lower our costs and improve the efficiency of the services we offer our customers.”

On May 7, 2010, American was awarded the right to fly from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Tokyo International Airport at Haneda (HND) and will begin this new service Jan. 20, 2011. The new flights will complement American’s service to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT) and benefit Japan Airlines and other oneworld carriers. American is working with JAL officials for ground handling services at Haneda. The two airlines also are continuing to pursue co-location of facilities at key airports including New York Kennedy, Chicago O’Hare and Los Angeles.

Commenting on the relocation, Tsutomu Ando, Executive Officer of International Affairs at Japan Airlines said: “We warmly welcome American’s move of its Asia-Pacific regional offices into the same premises as JAL’s headquarters. JAL intends to maximize the effect of our alliance strategy and plans to engage in close collaboration with American Airlines upon obtaining necessary approval from the authorities. As both airlines are endeavoring to work more firmly together on ways to create greater benefits for our customers, there is no better timing than now for our offices to also be close in proximity. We are certainly looking forward to greater communications and a deeper relationship with American.”

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