Japan Airlines in possible tie-up with Air France-KLM

It's possible your next flight to Tokyo might feature a choice of sushi, beef bourginon and soused herring if a report about Japan Airlines Corp.'s (JALSY) efforts to ally with Air France-KLM pan out.

JAL is looking to expand its business in Europe and a capital alliance with Air France-KLM might be just the ticket to help the struggling airline, Asia's largest, move back in the black.

JAL reported a 99 billion yen ($1 billion) quarterly loss earlier this year. The airline expects to lose 63 billion yen in its current fiscal year, which ends in March.

The report of a JAL/Air France-KLM possible hook-up, published in the Yomiuri newspaper, cited no sources and noted that JAL officials weren't able to be reached for comment Saturday.

On Friday, JAL said it was looking into tie-ups with various partners, but no decisions had been made.

Another possible alliance may involve Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines (DAL), according to reports within Japan. Delta, the world's largest airline, is considering infusing JAL with a couple hundred million dollars, according to a person briefed on the matter, the Associated Press reported.

In return for its investment, Delta could take a stake in JAL, gain access to the airport closest to Tokyo's business center and expand its presence in the Far East nation, AP reported.

Still, the source said, talks between the two airlines are preliminary and Delta is still struggling to digest its merger with Northwest Airlines, which has been complicated by the recession that has trimmed travel budgets. Further, such an alliance may be complicated by the existing alliance JAL has with Texas-based American Airlines (AMR).

Among U.S. carriers, Delta has the largest presence in Japan by way of its purchase of Northwest, which was completed last year. However, Japanese carriers dominate their home market.

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