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Japan Airlines Corp. said Monday that it had completed a court-backed rehabilitation process and was taking the first step toward rebuilding its management after filing for bankruptcy in January last year.

The airline aims to relist its stock by January 2013, but it will first have to deal with several difficulties, including a plunge in foreign passenger brought on by the earthquake and tsunami catastrophe on March 11, and the nuclear power plant crisis in Fukushima Prefecture.

The airline has paid back all its rehabilitation debts with about ¥255 billion in new loans from 11 creditors, including the Development Bank of Japan.

The Tokyo District Court approved JAL’s exit from rehabilitation after the former flag carrier underwent painful restructuring efforts, including reductions in its workforce, routes and flights, under the protection of the court and the state-backed Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp. of Japan.

As a result of those efforts, the airline achieved a consolidated operating profit of ¥174.9 billion in the period between April 2010 and February this year.

JAL President Masaru Onishi said at a news conference that the airline plans to reduce some flights on 11 international routes in April.

JAL, Jetstar eye JV KYODO Japan Airlines Corp. is looking to establish a low-cost air carrier for domestic flights with Australian budget airline Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd., sources said Monday.

Struggling JAL is apparently aiming to rely on the Australian firm’s knowhow to challenge All Nippon Airways Co., which plans to launch a low-fare airline based at Kansai International Airport in the second half of 2011.

However, voices in JAL are wary about taking a risk on a new air service at a time when passengers numbers are plunging in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the sources said.

Jetstar offers low-cost flights between Japan and Australia.

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