Legacy          Major          Regional       Commuter          Cargo         

Article Index


In 2009, Japan Airlines suffered steep financial losses, despite remaining Asia's largest airline by revenue. As a result, the airline embarked on staff cuts and route cutbacks in an effort to reduce costs. The carrier also received a ¥100 billion credit line from the Japanese government that year. In September 2009, Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism formed a task force aimed at aiding a corporate turnaround at JAL, which examined various cost-cutting and strategic partnership proposals.
One proposal considered was to merge JAL with ANA, which would create a single larger international airline and replace Japan Airlines International; however, media reports suggested that this proposal would be opposed by ANA given its comparatively better financial performance as an independent carrier. The task force also examined possible partnerships with foreign carriers.
After weeks of speculation, JAL applied for court protection under the Corporate Rehabilitation Law (the Japanese equivalent of Administration (UK) or a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy (US) filing) on January 19, 2010. JAL expects to receive a ¥300 billion cash injection and have debts worth ¥730 billion waived, in exchange for which it will cut its capital to zero, cut unprofitable routes and reduce its workforce by 15,700 employees—a third of its 47,000 total. JAL's main creditors (Mizuho Corporate Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation) originally objected to the bankruptcy declaration, but changed their mind after the Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan recommended court protection, according to a senior bank official. Shares of JAL were delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange on February 20, 2010.
Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera and KDDI, took over as CEO of JAL. Transport minister Seiji Maehara personally visited Kyocera headquarters in late 2009 in order to persuade Inamori to accept the position; task force leader Shinjiro Takagi believed that it was necessary to appoint a proven entrepreneur CEO in order to fix the various problems at JAL. Japan Air Commuter president Masaru Onishi was promoted to president of JAL.
In May, JAL began to see an increase in its passenger numbers by 1.1% year-on-year. In August, it was reported that JAL would cut 19,133 jobs from its workforce of 47,000 by the end of March 2015 – whilst also increasing capacity – in an attempt to make the business viable.

Rivalry between Delta and American
A Boeing 777–300 aircraft with special Oneworld livery taxiing from the tarmac on to the taxiway, with a mountain view on the background
JAL Boeing 777–300 (JA8941) with special Oneworld livery
Although JAL ultimately exited bankruptcy while remaining in the Oneworld alliance, JAL was seriously considering accepting a strategic investment from Delta Air Lines and joining the SkyTeam alliance during the period between September 2009 and February 2010. JAL also had talks with Skyteam members Air France-KLM and Korean Air regarding their potential involvement.
The Delta deal was favored by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism because Delta had an extensive global network and had the largest Japanese operation of any foreign airline, which it had inherited through its merger with Northwest Airlines. MLIT also supported a transaction with Air France-KLM because it was a "healthier company" than American.
American planned to team up with Oneworld alliance members British Airways and Qantas to make a joint offer to recapitalize JAL. British Airways said that it was attempting to persuade JAL to remain part of Oneworld rather than aligning itself with Delta and SkyTeam, while American CEO Gerard Arpey said that American and Oneworld remained committed to a partnership with Japan Airlines, as long as it remained a major international carrier, and reiterated his encouragement for JAL to stay with Oneworld during ceremonies to welcome Mexicana into the alliance.

In an interview with the Asahi Shimbun on January 1, 2010, JAL president Haruka Nishimatsu stated his preference in forming a partnership with Delta over American, and the Yomiuri Shimbun reported shortly thereafter that JAL and the Japanese government-backed Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation would likely choose to form a business and capital tie-up with Delta, as part of which JAL would enter SkyTeam and reduce its international flight operations in favor of code-share agreements with Delta, and that American Airlines had begun procedures to end negotiations with JAL. Both JAL and American denied the report. The Wall Street Journal then reported that American Airlines raised its JAL investment offer by $300 million, to $1.4 billion, and in separate comments to the press, Delta president Ed Bastian said that Delta was "willing and able to raise additional capital through third-party resources."
A Boeing 747–400 aircraft in mid air, with blue sky in the background
As part of the restructuring program, JAL retired all Boeing 747 aircraft in early 2011, ending 41 years of 747 service.
After JAL filed for bankruptcy, there were further media reports that JAL would leave Oneworld in favor of SkyTeam, but JAL president Masaru Onishi said on February 1 that the new JAL leadership was "seriously reviewing the issue from scratch, without being influenced by previous discussions," and its decision on an alliance partner would be made soon.
On 7 February, several news outlets reported that JAL would decide to keep its alliance with American Airlines and end talks with Delta. Inamori and ETIC officials, according to the reports, decided that switching alliances from Oneworld to Skyteam would be too risky and could hinder JAL's ability to turn around quickly. Two days later, JAL officially announced that they would strengthen their partnership with American, including a joint application for antitrust immunity on transpacific routes. The airline would also fortify its relationship with other partners in the Oneworld alliance.

Post-bankruptcy developments
JAL emerged from bankruptcy protection in March 2011. In July, ETIC selected Nomura Holdings, Daiwa Securities, Mitsubishi UFJ, Morgan Stanley, Mizuho Securities, SMBC and Nikko Securities to underwrite the sale of its equity stake in JAL, without specifying amounts or dates. On 6 January 2012, JAL announced its intent to re-list its shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in an initial public offering of up to ¥1 trillion, which would be the largest offering in Japan in more than a year. The airline completed its IPO on the 1st section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TYO: 9201) on September 19, 2012. The Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan sold all its holdings (96.5%) in JAL for 650 billion yen, greater than its 350 billion yen investment in 2010. Even though it was oversubscribed several times, post IPO increase of the stock was close to 1%.
Following its exit from bankruptcy protection, JAL began several new partnerships within the oneworld alliance. The transpacific joint venture between JAL and American commenced in April 2011. JAL formed Jetstar Japan, a low-cost carrier joint venture with Qantas subsidiary Jetstar Airways, in July. In 2012, JAL and British Airways parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) submitted applications to the Japanese government and European Union respectively in seeking a joint venture business operation for flights between Japan and Europe.[70] Finnair applied to join the JV with IAG in July 2013, in conjunction with JAL starting new nonstop service to Helsinki.

§Corporate affairs and identity
In addition to its operations under the JAL name, the airline owns 5 domestic airlines which feed or supplement mainline JAL flights:
J-Air (JLJ) – regional jet services from Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka
JAL Express (JEX) – low-cost jet services between secondary cities
Japan Air Commuter (JAC) – turboprop services in western Japan, mainly including Amami Islands.
Japan Transocean Air (JTA) – jet services in Okinawa Prefecture and the Amami Islands
Ryukyu Air Commuter (RAC) – turboprop services in Okinawa Prefecture and the Amami Islands
JALways was the airline's international subsidiary, which handled low-yield flights to resort destinations in Hawaii, Oceania and Southeast Asia.
JALUX Inc., established in 1962, is the airline's procurement business which handles various work for the company, including the JAL SELECTION merchandise and in-flight meals and refreshments; supplies for Blue Sky and JAL-DFS shops; aircraft fuel components, cabin services and in-flight duty-free. JALUX merged with JAS Trading on 1 January 2004, to unify support operations for the JAL group.
JAL Cargo is the brand of the airline group's freight service and is a member of the WOW cargo alliance with the following products, J Speed, General Cargo and Dangerous Goods. In the fiscal year ended 31 March 2009, the Cargo division carried 500,779 tonnes of freight domestically and 627,213 tonnes of freight internationally.
On 1 April 2011, the airline changed its trade name from Japan Airlines International Co., Ltd (株式会社日本航空インターナショナル Kabushiki-gaisha Nihon Koku Intānashonaru?) to Japan Airlines Co., Ltd (日本航空株式会社 Nihon Koku Kabushiki-gaisha?).

A modern multi-storey building in blue and grey colour, with Japan Airlines' "JAL" logo on the top right, there are blue sky on the background and a highway bridge in the foreground
Japan Airlines headquarters in Shinagawa, Tokyo
The headquarters, the Nomura Fudosan Tennozu Building (野村不動産天王洲ビル Nomura Fudōsan Tennōzu Biru?), is located on Tennozu Isle in Higashi Shinagawa, Shinagawa, Tokyo. The 26 floor building was a project of the Kajima Corporation. The building, which also has two underground levels, has a land area of 11,670.4 square metres (125,619 sq ft) and a floor area of 82,602.11 square metres (889,121.7 sq ft).
Several divisions of JAL, including JALPAK,[84] JAL Aero-Consulting,[85] and JAL Hotels are located in the building. The building also houses the Japan office of American Airlines. It is also known as the JAL Building (JALビルディング JAL Birudingu?), the Japan Airlines Headquarters, and the Shinagawa Kyodo Building.
When JAL was originally established in 1951, its headquarters were in Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo.[88] By 1965, Japan Air Lines was headquartered in the Tokyo Building in Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo. The Yomiuri Shimbun stated that because Japan Airlines worked closely with the Japanese government, people mockingly referred to the Tokyo Building as "a branch office of the transport ministry."
On 28 June 1996, construction was completed on the JAL Building. On 27 July 1996, JAL moved its headquarters into the JAL Building. The Flight Operation Center (FOC) at the JAL Building began on 20 September 1996. A holding company for JAL and Japan Airlines System, a carrier merging into JAL, was established on October 2, 2002; the head office of that company, Japan Airlines System (JALS) (日本航空システム Nihon Kōkū Shisutemu?), was in 2-15-1 Kōnan in Shinagawa Intercity, Minato, Tokyo. On 11 August 2003, the headquarters of JAS moved from Haneda Maintenance Center 1 to the JAL Building. On 25 November 2003, the JALS headquarters moved to the JAL Building.[92][93] Originally the JAL Building was co-owned by Japan Airlines and Mitsubishi Trading Co.; they co-owned a subsidiary that owned the JAL Building. In 2004 the building was to be sold to Nomura Real Estate for 65 billion yen. The contract date was 1 December 2004, and the handover date was 18 March 2005.[83]
The JAL Subsidiary JALUX Inc. at one time had its headquarters in the JAL Building.[94] One group of employees moved out of the building on 26 July 2010, and one moved out on 2 August 2010.


LeeHam News Rss