Business World

Thursday 29 June 2017

Struggling Japan Airlines to reject cash offers from competing carriers

A Japan Airlines aircraft is seen in front of Mount Fuji at Haneda Airport in Tokyo yesterday. Delta and American Airlines are vying for a stake in the carrier. Photo: Getty Images
A Japan Airlines aircraft is seen in front of Mount Fuji at Haneda Airport in Tokyo yesterday. Delta and American Airlines are vying for a stake in the carrier. Photo: Getty Images

Troubled Japan Airlines (JAL) and the state-backed corporate turnaround body responsible for the loss-making airline's restructuring will decline cash offers from Delta and American Airlines, a report said yesterday.

Instead, they will only seek greater business co-operation with either Delta or American Airlines, the business daily 'Nikkei' said. The turnaround body will pick one of the US carriers as JAL's partner after February, it said.

Delta -- the world's biggest airline operator -- and its rival, American Airlines, are vying for a stake in JAL as they seek to expand their Asian networks.

Delta and its SkyTeam partners have offered $1bn (€693m) to JAL, while American Airlines, which partners with JAL in the oneworld alliance, has countered with a $1.4bn offer.

But the state-backed Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan feared that giving foreign carriers a stake in the struggling airline would only complicate its restructuring efforts, the 'Nikkei' said.

JAL could file for bankruptcy as early as January 19, the 'Nikkei' said on Saturday. After the filing, JAL president Haruka Nishimatsu plans to resign.

The 'Nikkei' said yesterday the government and the turnaround body have asked Kazuo Inamori, founder of electronic component maker Kyocera, to head JAL during the restructuring process. Mr Inamori is to reply to the government by the end of the week.

Officials at JAL, the transport ministry and the turnaround body could not be reached for comment.

Amid bankruptcy fears, shares in JAL continued to tumble, with their closing price falling nearly 12pc on Friday to 67 yen.

Irish Independent

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