JAL lurches from crisis to crisis, as government steps in at last

By Incorrect Author 7 December 2009

Japan will guarantee $7.7 billion in loans and other funds to keep the national carrier, Japan Airlines, going. This is the fourth time JAL has been bailed out since 2001. Sounds very much like our own incredibly badly run airline, SAA, after the Japanese mob lost $1.5 billion in the six months to September. Financial authorities hope the move will keep cash-strapped JAL from having to suspend scheduled flights after it was hit by rising fuel prices and competition in the sector. The airline faces bankruptcy and might now look for a capital injection from US carriers, American Airlines or Delta Air Lines, who are keen for a bite of the Asia-Pacific market. American Airlines and partners offered $1.1 billion of investment to JAL, while Delta has proffered $1 billion. No doubt if JAL takes up one of the bids, it will still be called JAL, but who will the airline really belong to? Japan’s government has in the past prevaricated heavily on this issue, making the carrier’s share price behave like a bucking bronco. Read more: BBC, Global Times


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