Alaska Airlines has aspirations to place its flight numbers on JAL flights to and from Japan.

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900
Photo: Thiago B Trevisan | Shutterstock

Japan Airlines (JL) and Alaska Airlines (AS) have submitted its application to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to expand on its current codeshare collaboration. With the two airlines teaming up in 2016, they have continued to expand its reach, with further expansion noted in 2018, including newly attained Virgin America routes.

Current approval includes codeshare permits for Alaska to provide Japan Airlines flight codes on domestic flights within the United States and across the border into Canada and Mexico.

Alaska is reaching for Japan.

The latest submission would enable Alaska Airlines to place its flight numbers on Japan Airlines flights between the United States and Japan. If the request is approved, it would see AS flight numbers appear on Japan Airlines flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), San Diego International Airport (SAN), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND) and Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT).

Japan Airlines Boeing 787 taxiing

Photo: Markus Mainka | Shutterstock

Japan Airlines currently connects to four ports on the US west coast, operating between Los Angeles and San Francisco with daily flights to Tokyo Haneda and Tokyo Narita. Seattle is treated to a daily service from Tokyo Narita. In contrast, San Diego connects to Tokyo Narita four times a week.

In March 2021, the two airlines further deepened its relationship, with Alaska Airlines officially becoming a oneworld alliance member. As reported by Aviation Week, a Japan Airlines spokesperson commented on the proposed codeshare:

“(The codeshare expansion will) benefit consumers by providing additional travel options for passengers between the US and Japan.”

Alaska Airlines tails

Photo: Alaska Airlines

A similar move north of the border

As reported by Simple Flying in November last year, Westjet also enhanced its codeshare with Japan Airlines, placing its WS code on flights to Tokyo from Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Westjet also will commence its hotly anticipated Calgary to Tokyo flights on April 30th, a first for the Canadian carrier, connecting Calgary International Airport (YYC) to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT), following the below schedule:

  • Flight WS80 will depart Calgary International Airport (YYC) at 18:55, arriving at Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) at 20:00 (+1 day)
  • Flight WS81 will depart Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) at 22:00, arriving at Calgary International Airport (YYC) at 16:00

Operated by the carriers 787-9, each of its Dreamliners holds 320 passengers in a three-class configuration – 16 in business class, 28 in premium economy, and 276 in economy class.

WestJet Boeing 787-9

Photo: WestJet

Ambitious plans at Alaska for 2023

Alaska Airlines has an ambitious plan to expand its team by over 3,000 staff this year, as airlines rebound from the pandemic. As reported by Simple Flying, in January, Alaska Airlines released a statement noting it plans to hire 550 pilots, 1,000 flight attendants, 1,000 customer service agents, 135 maintenance technicians, 240 contact center agents, 100 ramp agents, and 500 management personnel, with the majority of these roles being available from it’s Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Portland International Airport (PDX) hubs.

Sources: Aviation Week, Routesonline

  • Alaska 737-800
    Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

    Alaska Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Anchorage International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Portland International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

    Year Founded:


    Ben Minicucci

    United States

  • Japan-Airlines-Q1-Loss-Falls
    The metrics are improving at Japan Airlines, albeit off a very low base. Photo: Vincenzo Pace/Simple Flying

    Japan Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Tokyo Haneda Airport, Tokyo Narita Airport

    Year Founded:


    Yuji Akasaka



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