JAL rescue deal may spurn US investment

Troubled Japan Airlines (JAL) may turn down investment offers from both Delta and American Airlines opting for bankruptcy protection and cost-cutting programmes instead, according to Japanese media reports.

Delta, which is part of the SkyTeam alliance, has offered US$1 billion to JAL, while American, like JAL a member of the Oneworld alliance, has upped its offer to US1.4 billion.

However, the government-sponsored agency tasked with saving the airline, the Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan (ETIC), is now believed to be looking only at closer operational links, such as expanded code-share agreements, with one of the US carriers – not an investment deal.

Instead, JAL would file for bankruptcy protection this month and ETIC will inject around US$3.23 billion into the airline. However, this rescue deal may involve cutting around 10,000 jobs from its workforce of 48,000, and slashing as many as 40 to 50 domestic and international routes.

JAL’s long-haul routes are likely to be a major casualty of any rescue deal. Senior finance vice-minister Naoki Minezaki had even floated the idea of giving JAL’s international routes to rival ANA.

For more information on the airline, visit www.jal.co.jp

Kenny Coyle

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