Japan Airlines files for bankruptcy

JAPAN Airlines (JAL) has filed for bankruptcy protection following months of financial uncertainty. The government-sponsored Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation (ETIC) will now drive JAL’s overhaul with a pre-packaged restructuring plan to remedy the inefficiencies that led to its 1.5 trillion yen (US$16 billion) debt.Plans so far suggest that JAL will shift operations from larger international aircraft to smaller, regional ones.In a statement JAL said: “The continuation of our group’s flight operations will not be interrupted…effects on customers will be avoided and JAL Group’s business will continue as it has been conducted. We sincerely ask for your kind understanding and cooperation.“We…sincerely apologise to all of our shareholders, financial creditors, customers and suppliers and other parties concerned for the great inconvenience and concern this situation might cause,” JAL added.JAL once operated two-thirds of all international flight into and out of Japan, but a series of external events, some poor decisions and a growing pension deficit has seen its debts grow over the last decade.This is the largest corporate failure in Japan outside of the banking industry.

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