Page last updated at 10:36 GMT, Friday, 6 February 2009

Japan Airlines facing annual loss

Japan Airlines plane
The airline expects to make a fourth quarter loss too

Japan Airlines (JAL) is predicting an annual loss of 34bn yen ($372m; 253m) as the global crisis hits demand.

International travel, business travel and cargo traffic were hit particularly hard, as JAL made a 38.5bn yen third quarter loss.

The prediction is a reversal from its November projection of 13bn yen profit. JAL made 16.9bn yen profit in 2007/08.

The airline said it would continue with a programme of job cuts, fuel-efficient plans, and focus on business customers.

'Deterioration'

"With business confidence falling and demand expected to drop far more than originally expected, the pressure to increase profitability, focus more on cost reduction and increase productivity levels will intensify," the airline said in a statement.

The airline said it had been hit by rising fuel costs in the first half of the year.

JAL said it was expecting a significant sales decline in the fourth quarter.

"The deterioration in the economy, stemming from the sub-prime mortgage crisis, resulted in sharp falls in our international passengers," said JAL senior vice president Yoshimasa Kanayama.

In further gloomy corporate news in Japan, the country's biggest bank MUFG has said it made a net loss of 42.07bn yen in the first three quarters of the financial year.



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