Japan Airlines logs $2.6 billion loss over pandemic

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Japan Airlines posted an annual net loss of $2.6 billion Friday but did not release a forecast for the current financial year, citing uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic.

The carrier, Japan's second-largest by , suffered a net loss of 286.7 billion yen for the year through March—its first full-year result in the red since it relisted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2012.

"There has been no indication of passenger demand recovery yet" due to restrictions on international travel and tougher immigration measures, JAL said.

"Our situation has been severe throughout this ."

The company last week revised its projection for 2020-21 net loss to 287 billion yen from a 300 billion yen forecast in February.

JAL said it had decided not to release an outlook for the year ending March 2022, warning "it is difficult to foresee the recovery of demand while the global spread of COVID-19 shows no sign of slowdown".

Sales plunged 65.3 percent compared to the previous year to 481.2 billion yen.

Last month, Japan's top airline ANA reported its worst ever annual loss of 404.6 billion yen, which was smaller than the firm's earlier projection.

But ANA Holdings said it expects to see a rebound to 3.5 billion yen net profit in 2021-22, as the coronavirus disruption that has battered the worldwide begins to ease.

Japan's airlines had expected a bumper year in 2020, when the Tokyo Olympics were originally due to be held and tourist numbers were expected to break records.

The postponed Games are now set to open in July, but overseas spectators have already been barred from the event, with a decision on domestic fans delayed until June.

© 2021 AFP

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