Japan Airlines confirmed on Tuesday that it would maintain its partnership with American Airlines and the Oneworld airlines alliance, dashing Delta Air Lines’ hopes of partnering with the troubled Japanese carrier.
Crippled by years of mismanagement and debts of more than ¥2 trillion, or $22.4 billion, the once-mighty Japanese flag carrier, also known as JAL, was forced to file for bankruptcy protection last month.
Despite its financial woes, JAL had been wooed by two of the biggest U.S. carriers, American Airlines, also a Oneworld member, and Delta Air Lines, which is part of the rival Skyteam alliance.
Both American and Delta had courted JAL for months, offering more than $1 billion in support last year, as the Japanese carrier’s problems grew more acute.
JAL’s strong foothold in the world’s second-largest economy and its links to Asia make it an important partner for any airline seeking to better position itself in that fast-growing region.