Can JAL sustain these heavy losses? The airline got a $1 billion bailout from the Japanese government in June, although it asked for twice that amount. The government will probably end up ponying up more cash to keep JAL afloat. It's true that JAL was hit pretty hard by swine flu fears earlier this year, not to mention the ongoing worldwide recession. Even Singapore Airlines, usually a rock of financial stability, has warned that it could post its first full-year loss since 1972, the year it was founded. But JAL is in much worse shape than its arch-rival ANA, which lost almost $300 million during the second quarter. While everyone's hurting right now, JAL clearly has some problems of its own that it needs to clear up quickly. Traffic (especially business traffic) isn't going to rebound anytime soon, and while JAL has made some progress at cutting costs, it's going to have to do much more if it wants to stick around.
photo by St Stev from Flickr, licensed under the Creative Commons