Japan Airlines forecasts over USD2.3 billion annual net loss

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan Airlines said yesterday it had forecast an annual net loss of more than USD2.3 billion after the coronavirus pandemic grounded air travel around the world.

The carrier, Japan’s second-largest by market share, said it expected a net loss of JPY240-270 billion for the year ending March 2021.

It did not issue annual forecasts when it published first quarter (Q1) earnings in August, citing deep uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

“The airline industry has been… affected in an unprecedented way and fallen into very difficult circumstances” due to the pandemic, the company said in a statement.

“Many countries and areas still show no sign of slowing down the spread (of infection), which makes the recovery of international passenger demand difficult to predict,” it added.

Japan Airlines suffered a net loss of JPY161 billion in the April-September period, plummeting from a JPY54.2 billion profit for the same period a year ago.

Sales plunged 74 per cent to JPY194.8 billion while it reported an operating loss of JPY224 billion.

The airline said domestic demand was beginning to pick up but it will “take more time… to make a full recovery.”

Passenger jets of Japan Airlines (JAL) are seen on the tarmac at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. PHOTO: AFP