Aviation News

August 31, 2010

Japan Airlines to Layoff 16,000, Retire 103 Aircraft, as Part of Restructuring Plan

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By: BNO News
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JAL Boeing 747-400 taking off from JFK's runway 31L
A JAL Boeing 747-400 taking off from JFK's runway 31L. (Photo by Brian Futterman)
Japan Airlines Corp. (JAL) on Tuesday announced that it is planning to eliminate over 16,000 jobs, retire 103 aircraft, and discontinue 49 international and domestic routes.

In midst of of economic challenges, JAL, the former state-owned airline which filed for bankruptcy in January, explained that it had a 959 billion yen ($11.3 billion) debt at the end of March. JAL is now seeking to rebuild and make an important turnaround by transforming the company into a budget airline.

“There is a lot of interest in low-cost carriers and we will research the issue and decide how to proceed,” Masaru Onishi, president of JAL, said.

The 103 aircraft include aging 747-400 jumbo jets, which represent about 40 percent of its planes. Cutting over 16,000 jobs represent around 30 percent of its workforce. JAL is planning to persuade some employee into early retirement while selling subsidiaries.

“By fully implementing these measures, the JAL Group will aim to become profitable from the first fiscal year of the plan and thus rehabilitate quickly,” the airline said in a statement, as it explained that it would help them achieve an operating profit margin of 9.2 percent by March 2013.