The nation’s two major airlines Friday announced contrasting results for the first quarter of fiscal 2005, with All Nippon Airways Co. managing to upstage Japan Airlines Corp.
JAL said it incurred an operating loss of 32 billion yen in the April-June period, compared with the 30.2 billion yen loss it recorded a year earlier, mainly due to rising fuel prices.
JAL did manage, however, to narrow its net loss to 38.3 billion yen from 40.7 billion, yen thanks to the absence of a one-time loss posted last year.
In the first quarter, JAL’s sales grew 5 percent from a year earlier to 503.3 billion yen.
Soaring oil prices, the industry’s main concern, cost the nation’s largest carrier 21.9 billion, yen or 33.4 percent more than a year earlier.
JAL said prices of Singaporean kerosene averaged $66.7 per barrel during the April-June period, compared with $41 per barrel in the same period last year.
Its number of international passengers rose 1.6 percent from the previous year to 3.39 million, led by strong demand for flights to the United States and Europe. This more than offset a drop in the number of passengers to China.
Mainly due to anti-Japan protests in April in China, there were 25,000 cancellations between April and June, JAL said.
The number of passengers on JAL domestic flights remained almost flat at 10.5 million. JAL has seen a decline in individual domestic passengers amid a series of safety problems since January, although it is difficult to put a specific number on this trend, the carrier said.
Meanwhile, ANA saw its operating profit in the first quarter jump 33 percent to 11.7 billion, yen thanks to strong demand for domestic flights and cost-reduction efforts.
But ANA’s net profit fell 12.5 percent to 2.1 billion yen due to one-time losses stemming from the sale of fixed assets.
Sales at the nation’s second-largest carrier during the April-June period rose 5 percent to 312.3 billion yen.
ANA also suffered as a result of rising fuel costs. But the firm said it was able to keep cost spikes at just 20 percent more than the previous year as a result of countermeasures, including the introduction of smaller, fuel-efficient planes and early price-hedging maneuvers.
ANA said its number of international passengers in the quarter fell 1 percent to 939,800, mainly due to sluggish demand for flights to China.
Passengers on ANA domestic flights totaled 10.8 million, up 2.6 percent from a year earlier.
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