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Monday 01st of March 2010
February 26, 2010    

JAL reports 177.9bn yen loss

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by Kay Murchie
JAL reports 177.9bn yen loss

Japan Airlines (JAL), which last month filed for bankruptcy protection, has today posted a net loss of 177.9 billion yen (£1.31 billion, $2 billion) for the nine months to December 2009.

The airline’s executive officer, Norikazu Saito, told reporters it suffered an operating loss of 120.8 billion yen on sales revenue of 1.14 trillion yen - a fall of around 27% against the same period in 2008.

The airline, which is Asia’s biggest carrier, has been struggling amid the global economic downturn and has been grappling with a mountain of debt.

Despite filing for bankruptcy protection, the airline continues to operate but is being restructured under the watchful eye of the state-backed turnaround body (the Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp of Japan).

Shares in the flagship carrier were delisted on 19 February from the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the collapse of the airline was seen as Japan’s biggest corporate failure outside the banking sector.

In a brief online statement today, JAL apologised to its shareholders, creditors and the public over its failure.

Last month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said 2009 saw the biggest decline in air passenger traffic since the aftermath of World War II.

The Industry body’s chief, Giovanni Bisignani, said: “In terms of demand, 2009 goes into the history books as the worst year the industry has ever seen.”

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