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Japan Airlines Co. on Friday said it slipped 36.7 billion yen into the red in fiscal 2001, it’s first net loss in four years.

Group sales fell 5.6 percent from the previous year to 1.6 trillion yen.

The nation’s leading carrier suffered an operating loss of 11.93 billion yen, compared with 78.6 billion yen in profits the previous year, and a pretax loss of 37.1 billion yen against a profit of 53.5 billion yen 12 months earlier.

JAL estimated that the impact from the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks in the United States reduced its group sales by 152 billion yen and operating income by 113 billion yen.

In the business year that ended in March, the airline had 13.37 million international passengers, down 11.7 percent from the previous year. Revenues from those passengers decreased 9.4 percent to 612.7 billion yen.

“The impact was much greater than that of the (1991) Persian Gulf War, which affected mainly European flights,” said Senior Vice President Gentaro Maruyama during a news conference in Tokyo on Friday.

On its domestic flights, passenger numbers increased 1.5 percent to 23.81 million, but revenue dropped 1.3 percent to 324.95 billion yen.

Although JAL plans to integrate operations with Japan Air System Co. under a holding company in October, the airline released its fiscal 2002 earnings estimate only for itself. It put sales at 1.7 trillion yen, pretax profit at 30 billion yen and net profit at 23 billion yen.

The figures do not take into account synergy effects from the integration, planned fare discounts, or the return of nine slots at Haneda airport in Tokyo, which the JAL-JAS group agreed to as a compromise to avoid an antimonopoly ruling by the Fair Trade Commission.

The Fair Trade Commission did not give the final green light to the integration until April 28, which made it impossible for JAL to include the effects in the forecast, the company said.

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