flag-carrier airline of Japan
Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL) (日本航空株式会社, Nihon Kōkū Kabushiki-gaisha), also known as Nikkō (日航), is an international airline and Japan's flag carrier, headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo. Its main hubs are Tokyo's Narita International Airport and Haneda Airport, as well as Osaka's Kansai International Airport and Itami Airport. JAL group companies include Japan Airlines, J-Air, Japan Air Commuter, Japan Transocean Air, and Ryukyu Air Commuter for domestic feeder services, and JAL Cargo for cargo and mail services.
JAL group operations include scheduled and unscheduled international and domestic passenger and cargo services to 220 destinations in 35 countries worldwide, including codeshares. The group has a fleet of 279 aircraft. In the fiscal year ended 31 March 2009, the airline group carried over 52 million passengers and over 1.1 million tons of cargo and mail. Japan Airlines, J-Air, JAL Express, and Japan Transocean Air are members of the Oneworld airline alliance network.
JAL was established in 1951 and became the national airline of Japan in 1953. After over three decades of service and expansion, the airline was fully privatised in 1987. In 2002, the airline merged with Japan Air System, Japan's third-largest airline, and became the sixth-largest airline in the world by passengers carried. Japan Airlines is currently an official sponsor of Japan Football Association, Japan national football team, Shimizu S-Pulse, and Consadole Sapporo. All Nippon Airways, the largest airline in Japan, is JAL's main competitor.
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