Japan Airlines Corporation will decide their tie up with Delta Air Lines Inc., the largest US carrier by the month-end and switch to the SkyTeam global airline alliance, led by Delta, from oneworld in April 2011, sources close to the matter have said.

Although President Haruka Nishimatsu will step down after JAL files for bankruptcy protection tomorrow, other board members will remain with the company for the time being to formalize the tie-up with Delta, the sources said.

The Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan, which is in charge of turning around JAL, believes that an alliance with Delta would provide the money-losing Japanese airline with an annual benefit of 17.2 billion yen (USD 0.14 billion), the sources said.

This is three times more than the estimated 5.4 billion (USD 0.04 billion) yen in benefit from an alliance with American Airlines Inc, JAL’s current partner in the oneworld alliance, they said.

JAL and Delta are expected to file with the US Department of Transportation for antitrust immunity for jointly operating transpacific services by February 15, the sources said.

Delta has offered to shoulder up to 30 billion yen (USD O.24 billion) in costs a temporary drop in revenue that JAL will have to pay or suffer as it defects from oneworld to SkyTeam, the sources said.

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