Today marks the formal launch of a joint venture between American Airlines and Japan Airlines, allowing them to coordinate schedules, fares and marketing efforts on trans-Pacific routes. The airlines, which already have a codesharing arrangement, account for about 28% of airline seats between North America and Tokyo's main international airport. Experts say the joint venture could result in more flexible schedules and lower fares, helping to win more business customers. Still, the launch comes at a difficult time, with all carriers trimming capacity following Japan's natural disasters and subsequent nuclear crisis.

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