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JAL bounces back, buys 10 Boeing Dreamliners

Date Posted: 2012-02-22

Japan Air Lines says it’s on the road to recovery, first announcing net profits of ¥146 billion for nine months after coming out of bankruptcy, then telling the world it has ordered 10 new Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

The airline, which went into bankruptcy two years ago in what was described as one of the nation’s biggest-ever corporate failures, says it’s business is good, admitting in part that the strong yen has certainly helped. The government bailed the airline out after it filed for bankruptcy with debts of ¥2.32 trillion, and now the airline says massive restructuring under government supervision, including cuts in both personnel and air routes, have made a difference.

JAL says it has purchased ten additional new Boeing 787 Dreamliners as part of its ¥478 billion ($6.1 billion) capital expenditures program. The new purchase order comes on top of an existing order for 35 Boeing 787 aircraft. “The overall purchase of the Dreamliner now stands at 25 firm orders of the 787-8,” said a company official, “ and 20 of the 787-9 with 20 options, raising the total order of 35 Dreamliners to 45.” JAL says it “intends to maximize the competitiveness of the super-efficient Dreamliner.”

The Dreamliner is already flying international routes from Tokyo with JAL’s principal rival, All Nippon Airways. JAL says it “acknowledges challenges posed by Japan’s low economic growth rate, heightened competition from low cost carriers, and the downside risks resulting from the European sovereign debt crisis.”

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