VietJetAir (VJ, Hanoi Noi Bai International) and JAL - Japan Airlines (JL, Tokyo Haneda) have signed a formal partnership agreement aimed at improving customer convenience and the quality of operations and services.

A joint communique issued on Tuesday, July 25, said that prior to this agreement's signing, the two airlines had held a series of discussions on expanding their networks in response to the travel needs of people in neighboring Asian countries next to Vietnam, in addition to meeting growing demand for air travel between Japan and destinations in Vietnam.

As a first step in their partnership, JAL and VietJet have agreed to start a code-share cooperation for all flight services between Japan and Vietnam as well as JAL’s domestic flights, and VietJet’s domestic flights, as well as flights between Vietnam and the other Asian countries. While VietJetAir does not, at present, serve Japan, JAL operates daily non-stop services between Tokyo Narita and Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi Noi Bai International respectively, as well as between Tokyo Haneda and Ho Chi Minh City.

The two carriers will explore other opportunities to develop their partnership in various other areas, including a loyalty programme partnership, aircraft operations and MRO, as well as ground-handling services and training.

“The launch of this partnership with VietJet represents a significant milestone for the two airlines in providing customers better access to destinations between Japan and Vietnam as well as beyond," Tadashi Fujita, JAL Executive Vice President, said. "We believe it will contribute to generating more passenger and cargo traffic between the two countries and open up commercial opportunities on the two airlines’ international networks."

Following the lifting of growth restrictions earlier this year, the tie-up will allow JAL to compete with rival ANA - All Nippon Airways (NH, Tokyo Haneda) in the growing Vietnam-Japan market. It is recalled that JAL ended its partnership with Vietnam Airlines (VN, Hanoi Noi Bai International) last year after ANA acquired equity in, and signed a cooperation agreement with the majority state-owned Vietnamese carrier. According to the ch-aviation capacity module, for the week ending August 6, Vietnam Airlines and ANA control 85.12% of the Japan-Vietnam market's weekly seating total of 25,064 seats. The remainder is left to JAL.