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The transport ministry plans to allot more takeoff and landing slots for domestic flights to All Nippon Airways Co. than to Japan Airlines Corp. on a runway due to open in October at Tokyo’s Haneda airport, ministry officials said Tuesday.

Of 37 slots per day, ANA will likely get about 11 and JAL around eight. At least 16 are expected to go to relatively new airlines, including Star Flyer Inc., the officials added.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry decided to give more slots to ANA because JAL is in financial trouble and downsizing its flight network covering regional cities, according to the officials.

Total slots for domestic flights at Haneda are due to increase in stages, eventually reaching 1,114 per day from the current 830.

Allocation of 28 slots for international flights to be created by the opening of the new runway has yet to be discussed, the officials said.

JAL workers OK cuts

More than two-thirds of Japan Airlines Corp.’s current employees have agreed to accept the company’s proposal to cut pension benefits substantially as part of efforts to turn the struggling carrier around.

About 10,700 of the approximately 16,000 employees had responded positively to JAL’s proposal as of Monday evening, but it remains unclear whether a similar proportion of the company’s retirees will accept the proposed pension benefit cuts.

Japan’s top airline, suffering from heavy losses, has sent letters to its retirees and current workers seeking their approval for cuts to pension benefits and has set Jan. 12 as the deadline to respond.

Of the approximately 9,000 retirees, only 3,000, or one-third, had responded positively to the proposal.

The retirees have been asked to agree to a cut of more than 30 percent, while current employees have been asked to accept a reduction of 53 percent. JAL needs to obtain agreement from two-thirds of each group.

The cuts in pension benefits are deemed necessary for the company to secure long-term financial support from a government-backed corporate turnaround body, the Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp. of Japan.

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