TOKYO – Japan’s biggest airline ANA on Friday upheld its forecast for a record $4.9 billion net loss this financial year, but said the worst of the global virus slowdown had passed.
ANA Holdings’ nine-month net loss came to 309.6 billion yen ($3 billion) — also a record, and a sharp drop from the 86.4 billion yen in profit it logged during the same April-December period last year.
“The airline industry has faced an unprecedented, worldwide and severe contraction,” caused by “dramatically decreased” passenger demand due to border restrictions and stay-at-home requests in Japan, ANA said in a statement.
“Under these economic conditions, operating revenues decreased to 527.6 billion yen,” a drop of 66.7 percent from the same period a year earlier, it said.
However, compared with earlier this financial year, the latest results give “a clear indication that our recovery is already under way,” said Ichiro Fukuzawa, ANA’s executive vice-president and chief financial officer.
“With the worst of the global slowdown behind us, our group is committed to providing safe, reliable and convenient travel options to meet passenger demand” while continuing to adjust operations to maximise efficiency, he said.
ANA maintained its forecast of a record net loss of 510 billion yen ($4.9 billion) for the fiscal year to March 2021, compared with 27.6 billion yen in net profit the previous year.
For the nine-month period, operating loss stood at 362.4 billion yen, compared with 119.7 billion yen in profit in the previous year.
It recorded special losses of 76 billion yen “for business transformation expense, due to large-scale retirement of aircraft aimed at improving the revenue balance”, the airline said.
In October, ANA announced a major restructuring plan, having already announced it would halt recruitment for 2021/22. About 3,000 workers reportedly retire every year.
Its domestic rival Japan Airlines, also severely hit by the pandemic, is expected to log an operating loss of around 300 billion yen for the year to March 2021, according to the Nikkei business daily.
The company is scheduled to announce financial results next week.