Japan Airlines Files For Bankruptcy

By Daily Graphic
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Japan Airlines (JAL), Asia's biggest air carrier, has filed for bankruptcy protection, in one of the country's biggest corporate failures.

Some 15,000 jobs are expected to be cut. All board members have also voted to resign, according to Japanese media.

A state-backed turnaround organisation has said it plans to inject about 300 billion yen ($3.3 billion; £2 billion) into JAL.

Japan's government said flights would continue as normal as the airline begins restructuring.

Its reorganisation will take place under the supervision of the state-backed Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation (ETIC).

JAL will also receive a 600 billion-yen credit line and get 730 billion yen in debt waivers.

JAL shares have fallen to an all-time low, valuing the firm at just $150 milliom - less than the price of a new jumbo jet.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange said shares in the carrier would be delisted on February 20.

Along with other major global airlines, JAL has been hit hard by falling passenger numbers during the global downturn. The carrier has debts of $25.6 billion.

'Basically this shows that nothing is too big to fail, that America's GM and Japan's JAL were in the same situation,' said Koichi Ogawa from Daiwa SB Investments.

'What this has shown is that the nation won't just take total care of a company, that they've now said they'll let badly run companies fail.'

A third of JAL's workforce face the prospect of losing their jobs, the BBC's Roland Buerk in Tokyo said. — BBC

While the turnaround plan backed by the government will see the airline continue to fly, investors in the company are likely to lose most of their money.

Meanwhile, US carrier Delta Airlines has issued a statement of support for JAL.

Delta wants JAL to leave the OneWorld Alliance and join its SkyTeam partnership.

'Delta and SkyTeam fully support Japan Airlines and stand ready to provide assistance and support in any way possible.

'Delta fully expects that JAL, with the support of ETIC, will be successful in its restructuring and return the airline to a position of prominence.' — BBC