JAPAN: Gov’t task force looking at JAL options A government task force

The Japanese government has set up a task force to review beleaguered Japan Airlines’ turnaround plans and has said it will not allow the carrier to slideinto bankruptcy. A government task force set up to help rescue Japan Airlines Corp said today it would review the carrier’s turnaround plans from scratch as investors dumped shares […]



The Japanese government has set up a task force to review beleaguered Japan Airlines’ turnaround plans and has said it will not allow the carrier to slideinto bankruptcy.

A government task force set up to help rescue Japan Airlines Corp said today it would review the carrier’s turnaround plans from scratch as investors dumped shares in Japan Airlines (JAL) on Thursday following reports that the lossmaking carrier would request another government bailout and could break up its operations.

Japan’s transport minister said he will not force the struggling carrier, Asia’s biggest, into bankruptcy. “We will not crush and liquidate (the airline), it’s just impossible,” Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Seiji Maehara said on a TV Asahi talk show, according to AP.”

The task force will make a recommendation to the transport minister by late October or early November, but in the meantime JAL plans to slash 6,800 jobs. The former state-owned carrier’s fate remains highly uncertain as it struggles with US$15 billion of debt and a likely second straight annual loss. The government task force said that splitting JAL into “good” and “bad” parts was an option.

Delta Airlines along with SkyTeam alliance partner Air France-KLM and a rival group of carriers belonging to the Oneworld alliance, led by American Airlines along with British Airways and Qantas are holding separate talks to invest in and deepen ties with JAL, eyeing growth in Japan and the rest of Asia.