Struggling Japan Airlines posted a record operating profit of $2.33 billion in the 2010 fiscal year ending March 31 compared with an operating loss of $1.65 billion a year earlier but the carrier said it fell back into the red in April under the impact of Japan’s natural disasters.
The operating profit was nearly three times bigger than the target of $791.36 million under the carrier’s rehabilitation plan, thanks to the yen’s appreciation and lower-than-anticipated fuel costs as well as restructuring efforts, JAL said.
JAL’s group operating revenue declined 9 percent from a year earlier to $16.81 billion, compared with the target of $16.36 billion, as the carrier terminated many loss-making domestic and international routes.
Despite the record group operating profit in fiscal 2010, however, JAL said it fell into the red in April as passengers traffic tumbled in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeastern part of Japan on March 11. The twin natural disasters also triggered the ongoing nuclear crisis in Fukushima Prefecture.
In April, JAL incurred an operating loss of 1 billion yen ($12.35 million) to 5 billion yen ($61.73 million) on an unconsolidated basis, the carrier said.
JAL’s international cargo traffic fell 33.3 percent from the year before after the airline ended its freighter operations in 2010. But the fiscal fourth quarter ending March 31 was especially weak, falling 59.6 percent from the same quarter a year ago and declining 21.9 percent sequentially from the December quarter.
As for fiscal 2011, JAL’s rehabilitation plan calls for 1.223 trillion yen ($15.10 billion) in group operating revenue and 75.7 billion yen ($934.57 million) in group operating profit.
JAL flew out of bankruptcy protection in late March, about 14 months after filing for protection as the carrier restructured its business.
JAL Chairman Kazuo Inamori told reporters the carrier aims to achieve its group operating profit target in fiscal 2011 ‘‘by any means,’’ although its group operating revenue is likely to fall ‘‘considerably’’ short of the target.