DALLAS - To save its relationship with Japan Airlines, American Airlines has raised the amount it is willing to invest in the ailing airline to $1.4 billion.
American increased its previous offer by $300 million in a bid to fend off Delta Air Lines Inc., which wants its own partnership with the Japanese carrier. Delta and its SkyTeam partners have offered JAL $1 billion.
American’s executives told Japan Airlines of the new offer yesterday, said two people close to the situation in Tokyo.
JAL is expected to decide on a partner as soon as next week. Japanese press reports suggest JAL is leaning toward jettisoning American, which it has worked with for a decade. American and JAL have denied those reports.
Delta’s offer would include a $500 million equity investment, $200 million in financing, and $300 million to offset revenue JAL might lose in the transition from American to Delta.
American says its offer is superior because it includes a larger direct equity investment. The airline says US regulators would block closer ties between Delta and JAL because the two would dominate US-Japan traffic.
Delta officials did not return phone calls or e-mails yesterday.
Delta president Ed Bastian suggested during a news conference that his company could raise its bid.