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Japan Airlines and American talk about alliance

The heads of American Airlines and Japan Airlines said Tuesday that their alliance will give travelers cheaper fares, more routes and easier connections on flights across the Pacific.

U.S. and Japanese regulators approved the strengthened alliance late last year, after the two nations signed an "open skies" deal for air travel. American Airlines and Japan Airlines have cooperated for the past 15 years.

"Together, we will be stronger and more competitive," American Airlines President Thomas Horton said as he and Masaru Onishi, his counterpart at Japan Airlines, met with reporters.

Bringing their operations closer will result in a combined sales boost and cost savings of 13 billion yen ($156 million) Onishi said, while refusing to give details of how revenue will be shared by the two carriers.

Both sides said they hoped to make Chicago a major hub for JAL flights under the arrangement with American. The number of flights between Tokyo’s Narita airport and Chicago that can connect to other U.S. destinations within three hours of arrival in Chicago will rise from 43 to 45, they said.

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