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JAL logs US$885m quarterly loss because of pandemic

Tokyo

JAPAN Airlines (JAL) on Monday said it suffered a deep quarterly net loss of US$885 million, with the coronavirus pandemic having halted air travel around the world.

The air carrier said its net loss for the April-to-June period came to 93.7 billion yen (S$1.21 billion), plummeting from a quarterly profit of 12.9 billion yen seen a year ago.

The company changed its accounting method starting this quarter.

The latest data registered as its biggest loss under a different accounting method, since the company's relisting on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2012, following its filing for bankruptcy in 2010.

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Quarterly sales dived 78.1 per cent to 76.4 billion yen, JAL said.

The company did not issue annual forecasts, citing deep uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. It said in a statement: "The worldwide spread of the Covid-19 infection has imposed severe restrictions on international travel globally, causing international passenger demand to almost disappear."

It added that passenger traffic for its international segment collapsed 98.6 per cent on-year, while domestic passenger traffic fell 86.7 per cent.

"Upon the declaration of the state of emergency on April 7 in Japan, domestic passenger demand also fell rapidly and in an unprecedented manner, as inter-prefecture travel was discouraged by the government," it said.

JAL said the pickup of international travel remained "unforeseeable".

The lifting of Japan's emergency declaration and the nation's recent push to promote domestic travel have improved domestic demand a bit, the company said.

However, the company said: "Japanese society is still struggling to work out how to resume economic activities with infection prevention measures. Thus it is expected it will take more time for domestic passenger demand to make a full recovery."

JAL's announcement came only days after its chief domestic rival ANA Holdings said it had logged a record net loss of 108.8 billion yen and an operating loss of 159.0 billion yen for the April-to-June quarter. AFP

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