• Kyodo

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ANA Holdings Inc. reported Friday a record net loss of ¥309.58 billion in the April to December period, as the major airline has been reeling from the global coronavirus pandemic that hurt travel demand at home and abroad.

The loss is a reversal from a net profit of ¥86.45 billion in the same period last year, underscoring the severity of the hit from the spread of the novel coronavirus to the airline industry.

ANA, the parent of All Nippon Airways Co., posted an operating loss of ¥362.41 billion in the nine-month period, as revenue tumbled 66.7% to ¥527.61 billion.

The airline maintained its earnings outlook for the current business year through March. It projects a record net loss of ¥510 billion on revenue of ¥740 billion.

The net loss came as ANA booked a special loss of ¥76 billion.

The global coronavirus pandemic has caused travel restrictions, dealing a severe blow to airlines globally.

ANA’s revenue from international flights plunged 93.6% from a year ago to ¥32.3 billion as the number of passengers saw a 95.9% fall to only about 321,000 in the nine-month period as Japan’s sweeping entry ban was in place.

Sales from flights were down 71.7% to ¥156.3 billion after the number of passengers fell 71.5% to 9.91 million.

The government launched a subsidy program to help struggling local tourism last year but was forced to suspend it in late December due to resurging coronavirus cases. Travel demand normally increases in Japan during the New Year holidays from late December to early January.

ANA has been canceling domestic flights to cope with the crisis.

The outlook for travel demand for the rest of fiscal 2020 and beyond remains uncertain as the pandemic is expected to take more time to be brought under control even as vaccinations have begun in some parts of the world including the United States and Britain.

ANA is seeking to become leaner to overcome the pandemic, cutting costs and reducing its fleet such as B-777s that are suitable for long-distance flights. President and CEO Shinya Katanozaka has promised that the airline will return to profitability in fiscal 2021.

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