ANA - All Nippon Airways (NH, Tokyo Haneda) has asked the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to order Hawaiian Airlines (HA, Honolulu) to continue interlining with ANA "on terms at least as favorable as terms offered to JAL - Japan Airlines (JL, Tokyo Haneda)".

The Japanese carrier has voiced its concern about the proposed joint venture between Hawaiian Airlines and JAL, warning that once allowed, it could potentially significantly worsen ANA's competitive position.

"ANA is also JAL's largest competitor for Japan-Hawaii traffic and will be completely shut out of the interisland market if Hawaiian decides to stop interlining beyond Honolulu or to make it economically infeasible to do so," the carrier said.

ANA pointed out that Hawaiian is the only airline that can practically provide interline services within Hawaii beyond Honolulu. Due to the market and geographical specificity of the archipelago, it is unlikely that other airlines will enter with a competing network. ANA further indicated that while Southwest Airlines plans to operate within Hawaii, the LCC does not interline with other airlines.

"Hawaiian faces no meaningful competition for the interisland foreign-to-domestic connections at issue here. Inter-island Hawaii service is not provided in a healthy, competitive market - it is provided by a virtual monopolist," ANA wrote.

The carrier further admitted that Hawaiian has not yet indicated that it would want to terminate or limit its interline agreement with ANA once the JV wth JAL enters into force. However, ANA is seeking assurances backed by the DOT to avoid the possibility that Hawaiian would do so.

ANA further argued that the DOT's order forcing Hawaiian to continue interlining with it on current terms would not limit the benefits from the Hawaiian-JAL JV.