January 19: Struggling Japan Airlines (JAL) has filed for bankruptcy protection with the Tokyo District Court but will still continue to operate while undergoing a reorganisation with the financial assistance of the state-owned Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan (ETIC), the company announced today. Reuters news agency claims this to be the “fourth-largest corporate failure in Japanese history” with a debt of 730 billion yen ($8.1 billion).
It says its corporate restructuring will “proceed swiftly under sound procedures” by receiving support from ETIC and in-court corporate reorganisation. Haruka Nishimatsu, the airline’s President, has resigned taking responsibility “for causing our current situation” and it is expected that all other directors will also resign. A new management structure will be in place by early February but in the meantime Masato Uehara, the Senior Managing Executive Officer, will be the Group Temporary Chief Operating Officer.
“We’re here to stay” states the JAL website, confirming that all operations remain unaffected.