Japan Airlines to eliminate 16,500 jobs

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Japan Airlines Corp plans to reduce its workforce by a third within the fiscal year to lower labor costs by 81.7 billion yen a year, the Nikkei business daily said.

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Japan Airlines Corp plans to reduce its workforce by a third within the fiscal year to lower labor costs by 81.7 billion yen a year, the Nikkei business daily said.

The restructuring proposal compiled by the carrier and the state-backed Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp of Japan (ETIC) suggests to cut 16,500 jobs.

The proposed cuts include 5,405 workers from cargo and other peripheral operations, 2,460 flight attendants, 2,043 sales representatives and 775 pilots. Staffing at Kansai International Airport and Central Japan International Airport will be slashed 70 percent to 642 employees, reflecting reduced flight schedules, the Nikkei added.

Japan Airlines is currently soliciting 2,700 volunteers for early retirement, with two more rounds slated in the coming months, the newspaper said.

The airline had planned to cut 15,700 jobs over three years under the rehabilitation plan submitted with its bankruptcy filing in January. But operating losses of up to 1 billion yen a day have forced the faster restructuring, the Nikkei said.

With a June deadline for issuing an overhauled business plan, Japan Airlines and ETIC saw the need to quickly trim payroll in tandem with paring routes and selling older aircraft. Charting a swift path to profitability is seen helping garner the support of lenders, the newspaper added.

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