JAL crews to get pink slips Friday

Kyodo News

Struggling Japan Airlines Corp. said Tuesday it will ax about 170 pilots and flight attendants Friday because its voluntary retirement program failed to meet the job reduction target in its revival efforts.

Those facing dismissal include about 80 pilots, 60 flight attendants and 30 employees who are on leave, the carrier said.

JAL is restructuring under court protection. Under its rehabilitation plan approved by the Tokyo District Court, JAL is aiming to cut its payroll to 32,600 employees by the end of March, shedding roughly 16,000 jobs, or around 30 percent of its group workforce of 48,714 as of March 31, the end of the last business year.

“I feel very sorry for those who are subject to the dismissal and their families,” JAL President Masaru Onishi said at a news conference. “We’ll aim to stand on the starting line for reconstruction and revive the company as early as possible (to keep the airline alive).”

As part of the reduction efforts, JAL announced Nov. 15 that it will terminate the employment contracts of up to 250 pilots and flight attendants.

To reduce the number of forcible dismissals, JAL has since extended the deadline for voluntary retirement, soliciting applications from around 110 pilots and 90 flight attendants.

About 80 employees have applied for the voluntary retirement program, JAL said.