American Airlines president Tom Horton and Japan Airlines president Masaru Onishi announced 2 p.m. Tuesday Tokyo time (11 p.m. Monday, Dallas time) that they’ll start their joint venture on April 1.

That’s when they expect to start revenue sharing on the trans-Pacific flights upon which they’ll cooperate by jointly selling and coordinating their flights.

Onishi and Horton Jan. 12, 2011.jpgMasaru Onishi, left, and Tom Horton after Tuesday press conference

The joint business venture will initially include 10 routes operated by the two carriers across the Pacific, including JAL’s flights to and from Tokyo Narita and New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Vancouver and its flight from Tokyo Haneda to San Francisco.

They’ll also cooperate on American’s flights to and from Tokyo Narita to Dallas/Fort Worth, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles; Haneda-New York; Beijing-Chicago; Shanghai-Chicago; and Shanghai-Los Angeles. The Haneda-New York and Shanghai-Los Angeles flights begin in coming months.

As part of this, JAL will relocate its Chicago facilities to American’s Terminal 3 at O’Hare on March 27, the date JAL begins its summer 2011 schedule.

The two carriers will coordinate their schedules so that their flights won’t overlap. On Tokyo-Chicago, JAL’s flight will arrive earlier and American’s flight will arrive later so that customers will have greater choice, the airlines said.

JAL also will put its code on American’s flights beyond the U.S. gateways to other U.S. states (except Hawaii) as well as Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, and American will put its code on JAL’s flights beyond Tokyo.

Horton told reporters in Tokyo that the joint venture will provide “more travel choices and new and enhanced services to customers that were not previously possible.”

Horton and Onishi said that by realigning each carrier’s schedules, they’ll be able to offer customers more connecting flights and shorter connecting times.

Onishi said the two carriers would like to co-locate as many of their facilities such as airport lounges together as possible. Horton said American is relocating its Tokyo headquarters to JAL’s complex, and JAL has already moved into the same building as American in New York.

American and JAL are both members of the Oneworld airline alliance. JAL last year decided to remain with American and Oneworld after Delta Air Lines tried to persuade the carrier to switch to Delta and the SkyTeam alliance.

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