Japan Airlines, Asia’s largest carrier, has filed for bankruptcy protection with debts of around 18 billion euros.
The company now plans to slash close to 16 thousand jobs in an attempt to remain airborne. All board members are have agreed to resign.
A state-backed fund of around 8 billion euros will keep planes in the sky as a massive restructuring gets underway.
Japanese Transport Minister Seiji Maehara made the following statement:
As Japan Airlines holds an important position in the airline infrastructure which is also part of the foundation of our nation’s development, the government plans to support the company with necessary assistance until it is back on its feet.”
As well as cutting jobs JAL will replace some of its older, less fuel-efficient aircraft and cut the number of routes on offer.
Japan Airlines has now been bailed out by the government on four times in the last decade.
Passengers at Tokyo airport are concerned:
“JAL has really been the flagship carrier for Japan and as a Japanese person I wanted them to do their best. But they’ve really hit the floor.”
“After they’re bankrupt, it makes me wonder if they’ll be properly maintained.”
The carrier has spent the last two decades trying to claw back trust following a 1985 crash , which claimed 520 lives, the worlds worst aircraft disaster in aviation history.