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JAL posts $2 bn loss in 9 months to December

JAL posts $2 bn loss in 9 months to December

Tokyo: Japan Airlines, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month and is undergoing restructuring, Friday posted a net loss of ¥177.9 billion ($2 billion dollars) in the nine months to December.

Japan’s ailing flagship carrier booked an operating loss of ¥120.8 billion on sales revenue of ¥1.14 trillion, down about 27% from the same period in 2008, JAL executive officer Norikazu Saito told reporters.

JAL went bankrupt in January with $26 billion of debt in one of the country’s biggest ever corporate failures, but continued flying and announced an overhaul involving more than 15,000 job cuts.

In a brief online statement Friday, JAL apologised to its shareholders, creditors and the public over its failure, but it did not offer an outlook, saying its rehabilitation plan was yet to be fully drafted.

“We deeply apologise for significant troubles that we caused to many people, including shareholders and creditors," it said.

Last month the government announced a $3.3-billion injection of public funds and fresh emergency loans of $6.6 billion for the carrier.

The airline’s shares were delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange on February 19, with its price down to one yen, ending the carrier’s almost half century of listing on the bourse.

JAL this month rejected an offer to team up with the SkyTeam alliance, which includes US carrier Delta Airlines, and said it would expand its tie-up with American Airlines and its Oneworld partners.

The airline’s new chairman Kazuo Inamori said last Saturday the embattled carrier would speed up efforts to improve its bottom line through restructuring, including new early retirement programmes.

“We’re making a very huge loss every day and must stop the bleeding by reducing expenses," he was quoted as saying by the Kyodo news agency.

“All of us must be aware that we caused society a lot of trouble and must cut expenses thoroughly."

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