Japan Airlines To Cut Jobs Retire 103 Aircraft And Scrap 49 Flights


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Japan Airlines To Cut Jobs Retire 103 Aircraft And Scrap 49 Flights

Mike Mitchell

September 01, 2010 - Japan Airlines (JAL) a debt-ridden carrier announced that it was downsizing its fleet and cutting routes and employees in an effort to reduce more than $25 billion in debt and bring it back to profitability. Under a plan submitted to Tokyo District Court, the company will retire 103 aircraft and scrap 10 international and 39 domestic routes in an effort to slash operating costs by 30 percent.

JAL was established in 1951 and became the national airline of Japan in 1953 and fully privatized in 1987. JAL is headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan. Flag carrier of Japan, its main hubs are Tokyo's Narita International Airport and Tokyo International Airport, as well as Nagoya's Chūbu Centrair International Airport and Osaka's Kansai International Airport.


In 2009, Japan Airlines suffered steep financial losses, despite remaining Asia's largest airline by revenue. As a result, the airline embarked on staff cuts and route cutbacks in an effort to reduce costs. In the same year the carrier also received a $1 billion (USD) credit line from the Japanese government. In the same year Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism formed a task force aimed at aiding a corporate turnaround at JAL, which examined cost cuts and partnership or merger proposals.

Members of the task force expressed an interest in merging JAL with ANA, which would create a single larger international airline and replace Japan Airlines International. Media reports suggested that this non-partner merger proposal would be opposed by ANA, given its comparatively better financial performance as an independent carrier. In addition, the task force examined possible partnership with foreign carriers.

JAL group companies include Japan Airlines for international and domestic services; JALways for international leisure services; JAL Express for international and domestic low-cost services; Hokkaido Air System, J-Air, Japan Air Commuter, Japan Transocean Air and Ryukyu Air Commuter for domestic feeder services; and JAL Cargo for cargo and mail services.


JAL group operations include scheduled and non-scheduled international and domestic passenger and cargo services to 220 destinations in 35 countries worldwide, including codeshares. The group has a fleet of 279 aircraft. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009, the airline group carried over 52 million passengers and over 1.1 million tons of cargo and mail.

Matching supply with demand for improved convenience and profitability, JAL revisions to its routes, flight frequency and fleet plan for the winter schedule is based on plans announced in April which were formulated to achieve a swift revitalization. Adjustments were made mainly to the flight frequency on select routes and aircraft downsizing measures to more accurately suit demand and improve customer convenience as well as profitability.

On its international network, JAL has been downsizing aircraft where appropriate and also responding keenly to demand. JAL will schedule for the first time, its latest fully-reclining first class seat - JAL SUITE, on the route between Tokyo (Narita) and Jakarta from October 31. Also, from December 1, flights operated by JAL Group subsidiary airline JALways which carry the code ?JO?, and flights operated by main carrier Japan Airlines International (JALI), will be unified to improve operational efficiency and all flight numbers by both operators will be marked with ?JL? - the flight code of JALI from then on.

Domestically, with the expansion of take-off and landing slots at Tokyo?s Haneda Airport afforded by the completion of the fourth runway, JAL will increase the number of daily flights between Haneda and 5 local regions in Japan.


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