Japan Airlines (JAL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian carrier Vistara to explore commercial cooperation opportunities between the companies.

Under the deal, both airlines aim to provide improved services to their joint customers travelling between India and Japan, and through Japan to other countries.

The MoU is also expected to help the carriers pursue various future cooperation, including codeshare, frequent flyer partnership and other operational arrangements.

The airlines will also be able to leverage each other’s network, expertise and assets, once the companies receive the necessary approvals from relevant authorities.

"We believe it will open up commercial opportunities on the two airlines’ networks.”

JAL executive vice-president Tadashi Fujita said: “The strengthened partnership with Vistara represents a significant milestone for the two airlines to provide customers better access to destinations between and in Japan and India, and we believe it will open up commercial opportunities on the two airlines’ networks.”

Earlier this year, JAL and Vistara had entered an inter-airline through check-in (IATCI) partnership to provide a 'Through Check-in' facility to their customers.

The partnership allows customers to use a single ticket when connecting to or from a Vistara flight in India and more than 50 countries on JAL's global network.

Vistara CEO Phee Yeoh said: “Vistara and Japan Airlines share a great deal in common, key among which are the focus on excellence in operations and delivery of exceptional service to customers.

“We’re delighted to enter the next phase of our association with Japan Airlines, and we believe that this is only the beginning of many other great offerings to come.”

JAL noted that demand for air travel between Japan and India has increased significantly in recent years due to rapid economic growth in the latter.

The airline currently operates a daily non-stop flight between Tokyo, Japan, and Delhi, India, and is planning further expansion in India.

With a fleet of 16 Airbus A320 aircraft, Vistara currently provides services to 21 destinations in India.