• Kyodo

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All Nippon Airways Co. is seeking to cut monthly wages and other benefits by 5% starting January at the latest, as part of sweeping cost-cutting measures to cope with the coronavirus pandemic that has reduced demand for air travel, sources familiar with the plan said Tuesday.

With about 15,000 employees, the major airline will also start offering early retirement at the end of next March by increasing severance pay from Oct. 14. The program will target flight attendants ages 30 and older as well as ground staff ages 40 and older, according to the sources.

ANA is targeting an average 30% cut in annual pay for its employees with the cost-cutting package, which will also include scrapping winter bonuses and asking workers to shoulder 50% of pension premiums, up from the current 30%, according to the sources. Its employees have already seen their summer bonuses halved.

ANA is aiming to reach an agreement with its labor union, which has been notified of the plans, at a time when the outlook for a recovery in air travel remains uncertain due to the pandemic.

The company is expected to announce a set of measures to promote structural reform later in the month, with pulling passenger jets out of service earlier than scheduled being floated as an option.

ANA's parent company, ANA Holdings Inc., reported a record net loss of ¥108.82 billion ($1.03 billion) in the April-June quarter, citing reduced demand for air travel.

The airline industry has been hit hard by the pandemic that prompted many countries to enforce travel restrictions.

Budget airlines are also struggling to cope with the slump in passengers, with AirAsia Japan Co., the Japanese unit of AirAsia Group, a Malaysian airline, deciding to pull out of the Japanese market.

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