Markets wage on JAL collapse as shares sink a third

Markets wage on JAL collapse as shares sink a third

The future of Japan Airlines has been plunged into further doubt after its shares have lost over a third in two days. Shares in the Japanese flag carrier closed 24 percent lower at 67 yen, adding to a loss of 8 percent yesterday, as markets in Tokyo waged on it sinking into administration.

The future of Japan Airlines has been plunged into further doubt after its shares have lost over a third in two days.

Shares in the Japanese flag carrier closed 24 percent lower at 67 yen, adding to a loss of 8 percent yesterday, as markets in Tokyo waged on it sinking into liquidation.

The airline owes its creditors more than 500bn yen (£3.41bn), including losses over the last financial year widening by 62.3bn yen. Creditors include Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, Mizuho Financial and the state-affiliated Development Bank of Japan.

Japan’s transport minister, Seiji Maehara, told reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday that bankruptcy is not the only option for the airline. The cabinet is due to meet later today in Tokyo to discuss the airline’s future, and Maehara said that a plan to keep the airline flying would be announced when necessary.

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JAL has been bailed out three times by the government since 2001.

But last week it said that it would no longer guarantee funding.

Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii said the state budget for the next financial year would not include any such loan guarantees.

“This is a matter that should be worked out by private companies,” Mr Fujii told Reuters.

“The DBJ is wholly owned by the state but it has the status of a private bank so the government is not allowed to meddle in its business,” he added.

In November, the airline secured an emergency loan from the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ), saying it was “necessary for continuance” of its flights

The full amount of the loan has not been revealed by JAL, but previous reports suggested the airline needed a loan of €1.3bn, and that it would have run out of cash by the end of November.

JAL is also awaiting a decision from employees and former staff over a 40% cut in their pensions.

A plan for future restructuring of the airline is also expected to be announced early in the New Year, overseen by the government’s Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan.

Plans will include whether JAL will partner with wither American Airlines or Delta

Air Lines. The U.S. carriers have made rival offers of financial aid, keen to gain a greater foothold in Japan and access to JAL’s network to the rest of Asia. Failing a tie-up other option include filing for bankruptcy or winning support from a government-backed turnaround.