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ANA Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that it will drastically reduce the number of new graduates it plans to hire for fiscal 2022 due to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The business conditions of the Japanese airline group have been deteriorating due to a slump in travel demand stemming from the pandemic.

ANA Holdings, which usually employs around 3,000 new graduates, will hire only about 200 people for the year from April 2022.

With the end of the pandemic nowhere in sight, the group will beef up its moves to reduce costs in order to turn around its business.

Major industry rival Japan Airlines Co. has cut recruitment activities for new graduates in fiscal 2021, now planning to hire only about 200 people, down sharply from the initially envisioned 1,700. Skymark Airlines has also suspended such activities for the year from April 2021.

ANA Holdings’ domestic flight demand is recovering thanks to the Japanese government’s Go To Travel tourism promotion campaign, but 80% of its planned international flights have been canceled.

For fiscal 2020 to March 2021, ANA Holdings expects to report a record consolidated net loss of ¥510 billion, against the previous year’s net profit of ¥27.6 billion, weighed down by fixed expenses, such as personnel and aircraft maintenance costs.

Its core unit, All Nippon Airways, plans to skip this year’s winter bonus, the first such move by the carrier.

ANA Holdings plans to reduce its group workforce by some 3,500 by fiscal 2022 through attrition and measures including a freeze on new hiring.

The group has reduced the number of new graduates it will hire for fiscal 2021 to some 700, after halting recruitment activities due to the spread of the virus.

For fiscal 2022, it will employ pilots, applicants with disabilities and mechanics, but not flight attendants or ground staff workers.

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