Japan Airlines post $1 billion Q1 loss

Japan Airlines Corp (JAL) said on Friday it suffered a US $1 billion loss in the April-June quarter which is larger than its loss for the entire last year. The carrier's revenues took a heavy hit under the double whammy of the economic downturn and the outbreak of swine flue resulting in a net loss of 99.04 billion in the three months ended 30 June. The loss was much larger than the 3.41 billion net loss it posted in the previous year quarter last year.

"The net loss was Y10 billion more than expected," Yoshimasa Kanayama, a JAL senior vice president, said at a press conference.

Like other airlines, JAL has been feeling the pinch of the economic downturn which has hit demand for business trips and cargo transport. The swine flu has also forced travelers to cancel their trips to several countries while rising oil prices have also come as another headache for the industry already reeling under the downturn.

JAL is focusing on turning around its falling earnings through paring workforce, inducting fuel-efficient aircraft and streamlining its non-airline businesses.

The carrier has also been granted 100 billion syndicate loan by two government-backed banks – Development Bank of Japan and Japan Bank for International Cooperation and three commercial banks to enhance its financial ability to effect a turnaround.

JAL's smaller local rival All Nippon Airways Co also raised 130 billion in a public share offering which will partly help acquisition of new fuel-efficient aircraft.