US gives ok for Japan Airline Alliances

US authorities on Wednesday gave the green light for Japan’s two main airlines and their US partners to coordinate operations, a move it said would help lower air fares across the Pacific.

Japan and the United States in December last year agreed on an "open-skies" deal, allowing the two countries’ airlines to adapt to demand and ending a half-century accord that preset the number of flights.

But Japan Airlines and Air Nippon Airways both sought immunity from US anti-trust laws to allow further cooperation with their partners, such as coordinating prices.

Japan Airlines, which is in the midst of painful restructuring, is part of the oneworld alliance with American Airlines. All Nippon Airways is a member of the Star Alliance with newly merged United Airlines and Continental Airlines.

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