Japanese aviation with mixed earnings after Dreamliner woes | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 30.04.2013
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Japanese aviation with mixed earnings after Dreamliner woes

Presenting their annual earnings reports, Japanese carriers announced that they have managed to deal with Boeing's Dreamliner groundings with varying success. The carriers tried to minimize the impact on profits.

Japan Airlines (LAL), which relisted in Tokyo last year after a high-profile bankruptcy restructuring, announced on Tuesday that the carrier had tried to keep the financial impact from the three-month grounding of the Dreamliner to a minimum. However, annual results for the fiscal year ending in March were still hit by rising fuel competition and soaring fuel costs.

The carrier announced that its net profit fell by 8 percent and slashed its full-year earnings outlook by almost a third.

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Yen weakness seen as goal of Japanese monetary policy

JAL's sales rose by 2.8 percent in the 12 months to the end of March amid a weaker national currency. However, the depreciated yen had almost no positive impact on the airlines. Fuel costs are priced in dollars.

Taking to the skies again

"Fuel costs have risen by nearly 20 percent," JAL President Yoshiharu Ueki said in a statement. "But the original purpose of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policy of monetary easing is to boost demand, including tourism, so, in the mid- to long term, its impact is a plus."

Domestic rival All Nippon Airways (ANA), which operates 17 Dreamliner jets, saw its fiscal year profit soar by 53.1 percent on cost-cutting and a boost in demand for international travel.

"We responded flexibly to minimize the number of cancellations affected by the groundings of the Boeing 787 jets," CEO Shinichiro Ito explained. ANA and JAL together account for half of the Dreamliners in service globally.

hg/mkg (dpa, AFP)

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