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Old January 25th, 2011, 02:26 PM   #21
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Old January 26th, 2011, 05:47 PM   #22
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Old January 26th, 2011, 05:49 PM   #23
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JAL tops on-time arrival list of 33 major airlines
26 January 2011
Kyodo News

TOKYO, Jan. 26 -- Japan Airlines topped the on-time arrival list for the world's 33 major airlines in 2010, ranking first for the second straight year, the airline said Wednesday, quoting a recently released report from U.S. information services firm Conducive Technology Corp.

The survey found 89.90 percent of JAL flights arrived no more than 15 minutes later than scheduled during the year, according to the airline, which is currently undergoing a court-supervised rehabilitation process.

JAL made a range of efforts to secure punctuality, including using employees from various sections to help clean planes after arrival if their departure was likely to be delayed, it said.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 05:57 PM   #24
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Relisting In '12: A Goal Too Far For JAL?
26 January 2011

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Japan Airlines Corp.'s bankruptcy marked a change in its "bureaucratic" corporate culture, Chairman Kazuo Inamori told a news conference this past Wednesday, sounding a note of confidence about the company's prospects for relisting its stock.

A year ago that day, the nation's flag carrier sought protection from creditors under the Corporate Rehabilitation Law.

JAL logged a 146 billion yen group operating profit for April through November, a result miles away from its 133.7 billion yen operating loss for the fiscal year ended March. It is all but certain to surpass the 64.1 billion yen profit goal it has set for the current fiscal year in its turnaround plan.

The airline can thank its court-led reorganization for driving this recovery. At the end of the current fiscal year, JAL will have some 16,000 fewer employees than it did a year earlier. Some have retired early, while others have left the payroll as the firm has sold off subsidiaries. The airline has also gotten rid of 37 fuel-guzzling jumbo jets, removing dead weight from its balance sheet.

Moreover, JAL carries a lighter load of debt, having received forgiveness from creditors to the tune of 521.5 billion yen. The airline is thus closer to freedom from the excess staff, equipment and debt that have burdened it for years.

JAL has reached a basic refinancing agreement with its main banks and plans to pay back reorganization debts in a lump sum by the end of March. All in all, it looks to be on track to becoming a normal company again and to have put some distance between itself and the risk of another bankruptcy.

Even so, JAL faces a daunting climb to its goal of relisting at the end of 2012. The same feat has been accomplished by only nine of the 138 firms that have invoked the Corporate Rehabilitation Law, a success rate of just 7%, according to Teikoku Databank Ltd. A full 59, or 43%, went under a second time. And JAL's special circumstances could make the task even harder.

First, JAL is working under a time limit. Supermarket chain Yaohan Co. -- now Maxvalu Tokai Co. (8198) -- holds the record for the fastest relisting at six years and 10 months. It had plenty of time to revive its business. In JAL's case, support from the state-backed Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp. of Japan, or ETIC, is set to end in three years, which means that the airline has just two years until the January 2013 cutoff.

JAL must earn a profit in the year ending March 2012, since earnings for that period will serve as the basis for its bid to go public. Worryingly, its rebound this fiscal year owes much to the recovering domestic economy, a strong yen and low fuel costs.

Second, JAL needs to find stable shareholders. The ETIC will unload all of the airline's shares at once. The problem is that foreign ownership in a domestic airline is capped at less than one-third, so JAL will have to win Japanese investors over. This looks to be no easy prospect. Inamori acknowledged that financial institutions shot down the idea of raising capital less than a year after the bankruptcy filing as "having it too good."

The third difficulty will be pricing JAL's stock. In typical offerings, brokerages can lower the price to stir up weak demand. But in JAL's case, an offering that raises less than the 350 billion yen in capital that the ETIC pumped into the airline will result in the Japanese public footing part of the bill for the rehabilitation -- a politically unforgivable act.

Retail investors drawn to JAL stock by its perks were wiped out along with other shareholders. To bring them back, JAL will need to offer dividends or a convincing business strategy that raises hopes for stock price appreciation.

Inamori said JAL aims to be an airline "that competes not with prices but with high-quality service." Now it needs to figure out how to get there from here.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 03:51 AM   #25
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Old January 27th, 2011, 10:59 AM   #26
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Old January 28th, 2011, 07:52 AM   #27
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Skymark's Net Profit Soars 120% On Passenger Growth
28 January 2011

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Skymark Airlines Inc. (9204) reported Thursday that parent-only net profit surged 120% on the year to 3.9 billion yen for the April-December term as passenger traffic rose on major routes.

Sales leapt 34% to 41.1 billion yen. The budget airline filled 94% of seats on its mainstay Haneda-Fukuoka route, up 10 percentage points, and 90% of seats on flights between Haneda and Hokkaido's New Chitose Airport, an increase of 12 points. Demand on new routes was also strong, with the load factor for Haneda-Kagoshima service, which started in October, a better-than-expected 77%.

Operating profit soared 260% to 8.6 billion yen. Sales and administrative expenses rose following the establishment of new sales branches due to route expansions, but were absorbed by reduced maintenance fees and increased income.

For the full fiscal year ending in March, the company sees sales climbing 38% to 57.4 billion yen and anticipates net profit jumping 90% to 5 billion yen.
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Old January 28th, 2011, 11:16 AM   #28
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ANA To Delay Launch Of Budget Airline
28 January 2011

TOKYO (Nikkei)--All Nippon Airways Co. (9202) will postpone the start of its low-cost air carrier until next month or later, President Shinichiro Ito told a news conference Thursday.

The new airline operator was supposed to be created this month, but negotiations with Hong Kong's First Eastern Investment Group -- a major investor in the budget carrier -- have not progressed as expected.

"It is taking time to nail down final details," Ito said. "But this will not have a major impact on overall plans."

ANA and First Eastern are now expected set up a preparatory company in February based on a basic agreement signed in September. The partners will then beef up their investment in the new company in the spring.

ANA will become the top shareholder in the low-cost carrier, with a stake no larger than 40%. First Eastern will control 33.3% at most. The rest will be held by financial institutions and others.

ANA does not intend to depart from an initial plan for the budget carrier to begin flying in the second half of this year, Ito said.
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Old January 29th, 2011, 07:58 PM   #29
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Old January 29th, 2011, 09:00 PM   #30
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Old January 30th, 2011, 07:28 AM   #31
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Faulty emergency chutes found on 2 JAL planes
28 January 2011
Kyodo

TOKYO, Jan. 28 -- Japan Airlines Corp. said Friday it had found that emergency evacuation chutes on its two Boeing 777s in operation could not be deployed due to faulty installation.

The carrier said it was replacing the chutes on the two aircraft and seven other suspected planes, causing delays of up to four hours to three domestic flights and an international one Friday.

The chutes are installed at almost all of the doors of the aircraft for evacuation in the event of an emergency.
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Old January 30th, 2011, 07:54 AM   #32
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Old January 30th, 2011, 01:21 PM   #33
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Old January 31st, 2011, 05:08 PM   #34
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ANA Clearly Gaining From JAL Failure
31 January 2011
The Wall Street Journal

As its chief rival continues through a restructuring process, All Nippon Airways is enjoying a tailwind.

On Monday, ANA reported nearly $950 million in operating profit for nine months through December. A year earlier, thanks in part to the impact of bird-flu on travel and a still weak global economy, the carrier posted a loss.

But it's not just that travellers are less worried about flying. ANA is picking up passengers as rival Japan Airlines, which entered bankruptcy protection a year ago, cuts back. In fact, ANA has been expanding capacity, including international flights to Haneda Airport, which is closer to Tokyo's city center, and thus a more coveted destination for higher-margin business travelers than Narita airport, which had a near monopoly on international travel before October.

What's particularly helpful is that ANA has been able to do this without cannibalizing traffic from flights to Narita. For the five routes that the two airports share in common, ANA's load factor -- or the percentage of seats filled -- was around 85% in November and December, higher than the carrier's overall percentage. Haneda only opened up for long-haul flights in October.

Moreover, unlike at JAL, all of ANA's performance indicators have improved. For example, the number of international passengers jumped almost 15% in the nine months through December, and load factor rose 3.3 percentage points to 77.8%. That translated into $713 million in additional operating profit, over 40% of which came from higher average ticket prices. Business-class travel, meanwhile, has recovered to pre-financial crisis levels.

Of course, JAL's bankruptcy can work both ways. It might be giving up ground now, but Japan's former flag carrier will emerge a leaner and more nimble competitor hungering to regain lost business. Asia's low-cost carriers are also looking to enter the fray. ANA's not taking that prospect lightly: It is three-quarters of the way through a $1 billion cost-cutting plan for the fiscal year and is planning to start its own budget airline.

For now, one man's loss, as the saying goes, is ANA's gain.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 04:37 PM   #35
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ANA, Hong Kong investment firm agree to set up low-cost carrier
1 February 2011
Kyodo News

TOKYO, Feb. 1 -- All Nippon Airways Co. said Tuesday that it has agreed with a Hong Kong-based investment firm to invest in a company to launch a low-cost carrier based at Kansai International Airport near Osaka.

Under the agreement with First Eastern Investment Group, a joint venture tentatively called A&F Aviation Co. will be established possibly by mid-February to make necessary preparations, such as applying for a certificate to operate a new carrier.

The new company will be initially capitalized at 30.05 million yen, with ANA investing 10.05 million yen, First Eastern Aviation Holdings Ltd. 10 million yen and others 10 million yen, ANA said.

Prior to the start of services expected in the second half of fiscal 2011, the new company plans to change its name, decide on a new brand name and raise additional funds of up to 15 billion yen from domestic investors.

Shinichi Inoue, 52, who currently heads ANA's joint venture project team for the low-cost carrier, has been tapped as chief executive officer of the new company.

The low-cost airline will start with three or four routes each for international and domestic flights by using a handful of planes.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 06:15 AM   #36
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ANA finalizes JV to launch Osaka Kansai-based LCC

ANA and Hong Kong-based First Eastern Investment Group said Tuesday they have "finalized" a joint venture agreement to launch a new LCC based at Osaka Kansai International. A JV company called A&F Aviation will own and operate the airline.

ANA and First Eastern announced their intention to form an LCC last September (ATW Daily News, Sept. 10, 2010). Osaka was chosen as a base because it is a 24-hr. airport and has excess capacity, ANA said.

Initial capitalization will be 30.1 million ($371,590) with ANA and First Eastern each investing 10 million and other investors adding 10 million. Another 15 billion ($182.8 million) will be raised from domestic Japanese sources before the carrier is launched in the second half of ANA's fiscal year starting April 1, ANA said.

The carrier, which will have an AOC separate from ANA, is expected to fly both domestically and to Asia/Pacific destinations, though specific routes and aircraft to be operated were not revealed. Ultimately, First Eastern's maximum holding in the carrier can be 33% under Japanese law. ANA is expected to hold around a 39% stake with other Japanese investors owning the rest.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 11:09 AM   #37
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ANA Affiliated Low Cost Carrier Aims To Clear Debt In 5 Years
10 February 2011

TOKYO (Dow Jones)--The low cost carrier All Nippon Airways Co. (9202.TO) is throwing its support behind aims to turn a profit on an annual basis in three years and clear away accumulated debt five years after the launch of Japan's first budget airline, the top executive of the newly established company said.

"The first five years are crucial," Shinichi Inoue, the chief executive of A&F Aviation Co., which was established earlier in the day as a legal entity, said in a group interview with reporters Thursday.

These financial targets are widely adopted by global low cost carriers, added Inoue, who served in personnel and sales operations at ANA and was also in charge of ANA's business strategy for Asia before becoming the CEO of the new carrier.

The new airline, which will operate independently from ANA under a different brand name, will start its flight services in the second half of the next fiscal year. The brand name will be determined sometime after March, he added.

Starting with five jets for short haul routes out of Kansai International Airport in Osaka in the first year, the CEO said his company aims to grab 6 million customers with 16 jets five years after the launch. The targeted passenger number isn't particularly ambitious compared with major low cost carriers such as Ryanair which saw more than 70 million passengers last year.

As the nation's first full-fledged low cost carrier with a goal of cutting costs to half of those of conventional airlines, the new airline faces an uphill battle in Japan where exorbitant landing fees and high personnel costs have prevented Japanese low-cost carriers from existing at the moment.

"We want to be simple. We'll get rid of all unnecessary" services to cut costs, he said. If customers need those services not covered in the air fees, the company can offer them by charging extra, he added.

The company also intends on undertaking efforts to reduce costs by using more online systems to lower personnel costs and is looking for a cost-competitive foreign work force, he added.

ANA has a less than a 40% stake in the new company and Hong Kong-based private equity fund First Eastern Investment Group owns a 33.3% while the rest is held by unspecified Japanese investors.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 03:41 PM   #38
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ANA's budget airline to lease 10 Airbus aircraft
Kyodo News

OSAKA, Feb. 14 -- Japanese low-cost carrier A&F Aviation Co. launched by All Nippon Airways Co. and a Hong Kong investment firm said Monday it will lease 10 Airbus A320-200 aircraft over two years from this fall.

The budget airline, which will be based at Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture, is aiming to start operations in the second half of its 2011 business year with both domestic and international flights.

''We'd like to take in Asian growth by attracting visits to Japan (by foreigners) through offering low fares,'' Chief Executive Officer Shinichi Inoue told a news conference at a hotel near Kansai International Airport.

The airline plans to operate a single type of aircraft for the time being in a bid to keep costs low, it said.

The Airbus planes will have around 180 seats, the airline said.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 10:52 AM   #39
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Boeing's 747 Loses an Ally; JAL Becomes Latest Carrier to Retire the Jumbo Jet, a Long-Haul Workhorse
2 March 2011
The Wall Street Journal Online

Once one of the world's foremost operators of the iconic Boeing 747 jumbo jetliner, Japan Airlines International Co. on Tuesday retired its last two 747s, ending the airline's storied run with the plane.

JAL is the latest carrier to retire its fleet of 747s in favor of newer, more fuel-efficient models. Meanwhile, executives at Boeing Co. are trying hard to reverse the 747's flight into the sunset.

Last month, in a splashy ceremony at its massive Everett, Wash., factory, Boeing unveiled its latest jumbo jet, dubbed the 747-8 Intercontinental. A freighter version made its debut last year and is undergoing flight tests.

From the outside, the 747-8 is clearly a close cousin of the original 1970 version. But the latest model is 18 feet longer than the previous 747-400; it includes a new wing design, the same General Electric Co. engines and new cockpit technologies being used on the coming 787 Dreamliner.

In a three-class configuration, the newest 747 can seat about 470 passengers—as many as some variants of the current 777. It is smaller than the double-decker Airbus A380, which can seat 525 or as many as 850 depending on the configuration.

But the 747-8 has been slow to win airline orders, with just two operators signed up so far. Deutsche Lufthansa AG has ordered 20 and Korean Air Lines Co. has five on the books. Boeing officials say they are confident that once the plane proves itself during flight tests and early commercial use, other airlines will place orders.

JAL was an early customer of the 747, receiving its first four-engine wide-body from Boeing in 1970, shortly after the first of the planes entered service, according to the airline. Over the next 40 years, the airline would own and operate 112 of the planes, including all four variants of the jet—each one introduced with various performance and passenger-configuration improvements. But in January 2010 JAL accelerated its plans to retire the 747s, after the carrier entered bankruptcy protection.

For two decades, the 747 was the mainstay used for airlines' long-haul trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic flights. But by the early 1990s, carriers began using the smaller, twin-engine Boeing 767 wide-body on trans-Atlantic routes.

In the mid-1990s, Boeing rival Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., entered the market with its A330 and A340 wide-body jets, which began to further erode the 747's dominance. Airbus continued to take market share from the 747 during the past decade with the introduction of the A380.

The biggest impact on the 747, however, was felt when Boeing in 1995 introduced its 777, which today has largely eclipsed the 747 as the workhorse on the long trans-Pacific routes. The 777 also supplanted the 747 on many Europe-to-Asia routes.

Though the plane remains in widespread use world-wide, only two U.S. carriers, United Continental Holdings Inc.'s United Airlines and Delta Air Lines Inc., still fly the 747 on regular commercial service.

For JAL, the airline's last two 747-400s were retired after the jets landed at Tokyo's Narita Airport on Tuesday afternoon after flights from Honolulu and Okinawa, Japan, respectively. Rival All Nippon Airways Co. continues to operate 10 of the big jets on domestic routes, with one-class seating for about 550 passengers.

Both Japanese carriers are awaiting the arrival of the first 787 Dreamliners, a cornerstone for their long-term fleet plans. Delayed three years, the first 787s are slated for delivery during the third quarter of this year.
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Old April 1st, 2011, 10:39 PM   #40
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