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Last Updated: Monday, 6 February 2006, 06:25 GMT
More fuel woe for Japan Airlines
Japan Airlines plane
The airline is shedding a number of routes in an attempt to cut costs
Asia's largest carrier, Japan Airlines (JAL), has remained mired in the red in the third quarter of its financial year, hit by the soaring cost of fuel.

It also suffered from weak demand for flights to China where anti-Japanese rallies flared in 2005 after Tokyo backed a controversial history book.

It reported a net loss of 11bn yen (52.6m; $93m) in the three months to the end of December.

In the nine months to the end of 2005, JAL made a net loss of 23bn yen.

Full year loss ahead

The company has struggled to cut costs, while a series of safety problems have dented its image.

JAL said the fuel bill during the first three quarters of financial year 2005/06 was up 30% from the same period a year earlier, with fuel costs averaging US$71 a barrel.

The carrier again said it expected to report a loss of 47bn yen for the full year to the end of March 2006, against a previous profit forecast of 17bn yen.

Passenger numbers fell about 2% during the period at 44.04 million people from 44.84 million during the same period in 2004, as passengers declined in both international and domestic travel.

Traffic between Japan and China fell sharply after anti-Japanese protests in April, when China was angered by Japanese approval of a school textbook presenting a nationalist view of early 20th Century history.

Engine locked

On domestic travel "individual passenger demand remained stagnant as a result of adverse publicity over safety-related issues."

Earlier this year a JAL domestic flight flew with an engine reverse thruster locked into the maintenance position.

Overall, international traffic rose just 0.3% over the half-year, with domestic routes seeing a 1% reduction in passengers.

In August, Japan Airlines announced plans to suspend six international routes, as it seeks to stem losses.

Japan Airlines hit by fuel costs
07 Nov 05 |  Business
Air passengers pay for oil hike
06 Jun 04 |  Business
JAL profits more than halve
15 Nov 01 |  Business

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