In contrast to ANA, Japan Airlines has remained loss-making in Q1 of FY22. The carrier benefited from the same improved operating environment as its competitor but ended the June quarter with a ¥19.560 billion net loss attributable to shareholders. JAL expects to end the full year at a profit. Japan Airlines targets full-year profit after loss-making Q1.
JAL improved its losses, from ¥57.919 billion in Q1 2021 to the aforementioned ¥19.560. The operating loss was reduced from ¥76.845 billion to ¥30.186 billion. EBIT was ¥-27.5 billion, up from ¥-82.6 billion). Total revenues more than doubled from ¥133.0 billion to ¥268.9 billion, but expenses were also significantly higher to ¥303 billion from ¥215.4 billion. Fuel accounted for ¥69.8 billion (2021: ¥26.6 billion), but personnel costs were also up.
A gradual increase in traffic pushed international revenues of Japan Airlines up to ¥62.4 billion from ¥11.2 billion in Q1 last year. JAL carried almost 729.000 passengers as capacity grew by 35.9 percent and the load factor improved to 67.6 percent. Like with All Nippon Airways, the transit market between Asia and North America performed best.
Domestic travel recovered to 88 million passengers compared to 38 million the year before, when Japan was going in and out of states of emergency as new Covid infections spread. Capacity in available seat kilometers (ASK) was up by 64.7 percent, but the load factor remained somewhat behind at 55.8 percent.
Low-cost, long-haul ZIPAIR carried 53.566 passengers, up from 1.556, with some flights in the summer peak fully booked. San Jose (California) was announced as a new route by the airliner that stripped the ‘Z’ from its tail fins in order not to be associated with the same letter used by Russia during its military operations in Ukraine. Spring Japan carried almost 43K passengers compared to zero last year. Jetstar Japan resumed operations in July. The low-cost airlines together contributed ¥3.3 billion in revenues in Q1 compared to zero last year.
Cargo earned ¥65.3 billion in revenues, up from ¥47.6 billion, with JAL benefiting from the lack of available capacity in sea transportation and the resulting higher yields. Mail tonnes kilometers were down to 33.6K from 47.9K.
JAL management is counting on a further recovery this year. In its guidance for FY22, it expects a full-year profit attributable to shareholders of ¥45 billion on ¥1.390 billion in revenues. EBIT should be around ¥80 billion. This is in line with its revised strategy announced in May to return to profitability at a quicker pace. At the end of June, the carrier had ¥530.3 billion in liquidity plus ¥250 billion as an unused credit line. Cash flow was ¥36.1 billion, an improvement over ¥-51.3 billion in Q1 last year.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.