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Friday, 12 October, 2001, 07:21 GMT 08:21 UK
Japan airline tumbles into loss
JAL is reported to be about to hike domestic fares
JAL, Japan's biggest airline, has forecast that the woes of the aviation industry will push it into a loss for the current financial year.

JAL had previously forecast that it would earn 43bn yen (245m; $353m) in the year to end-March, but has now revised that figure into a 50bn-yen loss.

The firm said it would be cutting 600 jobs, over and above 700 lay-offs announced earlier in the year.

At the same time, it slashed its dividend to shareholders from 3 yen per share to zero.

In hope of defraying some of the costs of higher insurance charges, JAL plans to raise fares on domestic flights by 500 yen, and on international flights by $5.

JAL has been hit hard by increased insurance costs, and suffers worse than Japan's other airlines, because it is the main international carrier.

Calls for aid

JAL has already reduced its US-bound schedules by almost one-quarter as a result of last month's attacks.

Japan's other major carriers, All Nippon Airways and Japan Air System, have not yet said whether they will pass on some of the burden to passengers.

As elsewhere, there has been a mounting campaign for government help for the airline industry.

The Japanese government has stepped in to guarantee third-party insurance up to $2bn to cover any shortfall in claims for six months.

But it is still considering whether the airline industry merits any more direct financial aid.

See also:

11 Oct 01 | Business
Round-up: Aviation in crisis
04 Oct 01 | Business
Asian airlines cut US routes
03 Oct 01 | South Asia
India reports hijacked plane
03 Oct 01 | Americas
US airlines to reinforce cockpits
23 Sep 01 | Business
Airlines receive $15bn aid boost
20 Sep 01 | Business
Airlines slash thousands of jobs
19 Sep 01 | Business
US aviation crisis deepens
17 Sep 01 | Business
Airline reservations slump
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