Japan Airlines will reduce the number of board members and adopt an “executive officer” system as part of its three-year business plan, JAL President Isao Kaneko announced Tuesday.

The country’s flagship carrier will halve the number of board members from 30 to 15, pending approval at its annual shareholders’ meeting scheduled for June.

At the same time, JAL will set up positions for 10 executive officers who will not belong to the board but will have similar responsibilities. “The drastic cuts in the number of board members will enable us to speedily make decisions on management,” Kaneko told reporters.

While suffering from the stagnant economy, JAL is also exposed to international and domestic competition and faces the urgent task of improving its cost efficiency to survive.

In the business plan that covers the period until the end of fiscal 2001, JAL plans to further decentralize its operations and promote an internal company system, to secure financial strength on a consolidated basis.

In the business plan, JAL plans to focus on long-distance international services to Europe and North and South America as well as domestic trunk routes, while transferring services on other routes to its subsidiaries that operate on lower personnel and maintenance.

For this purpose, Japan Air Charter, which will be upgraded to regular air service, will take over international services to Southeast Asia, Oceania and Pacific resorts such as Hawaii.

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