ANA Holdings Inc. tumbled as much as 8.5 percent in Tokyo trading Monday, its largest intraday drop since April 1, after a report the airline is considering raising ¥200 billion ($1.9 billion) through a public share offering.
The carrier is also planning to cut costs by selling aircraft and disposing of noncore businesses, Nikkei reported Friday, without saying where it got the information. An ANA spokesperson who asked not to be identified denied the report.
The aviation industry, upended by the coronavirus pandemic, is unlikely to see a recovery anytime soon. Global passenger traffic won’t fully return to pre-COVID-19 levels until 2024, according to the International Air Transport Association. ANA and domestic rival Japan Airlines Co. have been bleeding money and seeking relief measures such as loans and reduced airport fees.
"This is about survival,” Lightstream Research analyst Mio Kato wrote in a report by Smartkarma Holdings Pte dated Sept. 25. "Markets are too sanguine on airlines in general, and ANA in particular.” Kato added that "even post-pandemic, business travel will be severely impacted as businesses adapt to video conferencing as a much cheaper and convenient alternative.”
Earlier this month, ANA placed all contract pilots at its Air Japan unit on temporary leave. Air Japan has about 300 temporary pilots hired via recruitment agencies.
Airlines are a "fixed cost-heavy business,” said Ryota Himeno, an analyst at JP Morgan Securities Japan Co. "ANA is trying to respond early as the company will keep losing money if revenues don’t recover.”