Japan Airlines to file for bankruptcy

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Monday, January 18, 2010

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File photo of a JAL Boeing 747 landing at Heathrow Airport in the UK

Japan Airlines (JAL), Asia’s largest airline, is expected to file for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, bringing an end to months of speculation about the airline’s financial future, riddled by debt.

The bankruptcy filing, should it go ahead, is to be followed by a restructuring program, backed by the government, intended to trim down the airline, firing a third of its employees, and removing some routes from its schedule.

JAL stock has fallen by over ninety percent in the last few days, due to the financial uncertainty of the airline. Shares for JAL were trading as low as US$0.05 earlier today at the Tokyo stock exchange. The carrier’s estimated value is now $150 million, about the price of a single Boeing 787 jet.