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Japan Air, ANA Win Government Approval for U.S. Airline Accords

Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Japan granted antitrust immunity for Japan Airlines Corp. and All Nippon Airways Co. to cooperate with partners on U.S. flights, clearing the way for deals that may cut costs and boost sales.

Japan Air won approval for its alliance with AMR Corp.’s American Airlines, and All Nippon for its partnership with United Continental Holdings Inc.’s United and Continental units, Japan’s transport ministry said today in a statement.

The U.S. and Japan are set to sign an “Open Skies” accord on Oct. 25 that will end limits on how many carriers can fly between the two countries and what prices they can charge. The U.S. gave preliminary antitrust approval earlier this month, subject to the agreement being signed.

“The joint business with American will contribute to the growth and stability of both our businesses,” Japan Air President Masaru Onishi said in a statement. “We are intent on keeping the marketplace competitive.”

All Nippon rose 0.3 percent to 301 yen as of the 11 a.m. close of trade in Tokyo. Japan Airlines, which is restructuring under bankruptcy protection, was delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange in February.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Cooper in Tokyo at ccooper1@bloomberg.net; Kiyotaka Matsuda in Tokyo at kmatsuda@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at ndenslow@bloomberg.net

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