• Kyodo News

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Japan Airlines Corp. plans to cut around 15,000 jobs by March 2011, including close to 3,000 through an early retirement program, implementing in about a year the bulk of its total workforce reductions under its rehabilitation plan, sources said Friday.

The move to concentrate most of the job reductions in fiscal 2010 starting in April is apparently aimed at promptly cutting down on personnel costs at JAL, which filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday.

Under the plan’s provisions unveiled earlier, JAL is set to shrink its operations and improve its cost structure by cutting around 15,700 jobs, or about 30 percent of its group workforce, by March 2013.

The schedule for reducing its group workforce at an accelerated pace has been included in a rehabilitation plan compiled together with the state-backed Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp. of Japan, which is supporting the airline’s restructuring process, the sources said.

JAL will pursue early retirements starting in March, mainly targeting Japan Airlines International Co., the group’s principal flight service unit, they said. Among the nearly 3,000 slots, it envisions having 1,000 ground staff and 250 cabin crew members exit.

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