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ANA, Asiana Expand Code-Sharing Agreement

Japan's All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. and South Korea's Asiana Airlines have expanded their code-sharing agreement and will also collaborate in sales, operations, and purchasing.

The two airlines -- both the second-largest in their home countries -- will code-share on all 18 routes flown between Japan and South Korea by the two carriers by February 2007, up from six routes at present, Asiana said.

Code-sharing is an agreement where a flight by one airline is also marketed as a flight for one or more other airlines. Both ANA and Asiana are members of the Star Alliance group of airlines.

Over the past few years ANA has shone compared with bigger rival Japan Airlines Corp. , making progress in downsizing its fleet, cutting costs and shifting its focus to more profitable routes used by business travellers.

In contrast, JAL has lost customers to ANA, especially on domestic routes, after a series of safety problems and management in-fighting.