Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Airlines have filed for approval to create a joint venture that would increase each airline's access to the other's homeland, and possibly give Hawaiian a boost as it faces new competition on home ground.
If the deal is approved, the two airlines will be able to coordinate scheduling, marketing and to share revenues by acting almost as a single airline on routes between Hawaii and Japan, one of the island state's biggest sources of visitors. The hookup would give Japan Airlines the ability to sell tickets into seven Hawaii airports; it now serves only Honolulu, and would allow Hawaiian access to 28 locations in Japan and six others such as Guam and Hong Kong.
Hawaiian is the dominant inter-island carrier, with almost no competitors. It also flies long-distance routes to Japan and the U.S. mainland. In recent months, U.S. discounter Southwest has announced plans to enter the market, not only between the U.S. and Hawaii, but also to compete with Hawaiian interisland.