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Okinawa businesses, travelers worry as JAL files bankruptcy

Date Posted: 2010-01-21

Japan Air Lines is trying to reassure businesses and the flying public that all will be well in the aftermath of its bankruptcy filing and reorganization, but many people are concerned that flyers will abandon JAL and its subsidiaries.

JAL, JTA and Ryukyu Air Commuters all fly to Okinawa destinations, and there are fears competition from All Nippon Airways will cause passenger shifts. Higher fuel costs have some business analysts concerned JAL will cut back on its routes and schedules to save money.

Japan Air Lines has also announced plans to extricate itself from the hotel business as part of the reorganization, a move that impacts Okinawa business. JAL owns five hotels in Okinawa –JAL Private Resort Okuma, Hotel Nikko Alivila, Nikko Grand Castle, Hotel Yaeyama, and JAL City on Kokusai Street in Naha City—that will soon be on the auction block. Investment companies are scrambling to make changes to the operating companies, and to assure the new owners will be able to keep the hotels viable.

Hotel names are expected to change, but hotels and workers will continue ‘business as usual’. One JAL hotel, in Fukuoka, has already been picked up by another hotel chain.

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