The JAL Group, the parent of Japan Airlines, has recorded a 5.3 per cent drop in total net income for the first nine months of fiscal 2012 ending March 31 to JPY140.6 billion (US$1.5 billion) year on year, on 3.6 per cent higher consolidated operating revenue at JPY942 billion, according to the Shipping Gazette.
The volume of international and domestic cargo transported during the reporting period in revenue-cargo-ton-kilometre (RCTK) terms increased year on year by 4.8 per cent with revenue of JPY57.5 billion.
"International cargo operations experienced sluggish inbound and outbound overall demand, but sales sections responded flexibly and found ways to maximise revenue by exploring new customer-avenues, improving service to existing customers, and acquiring transit cargo," said the release.
Post-quake reconstruction demand, the change of government, a weakening yen, and an increase in stock prices were cited as positive operating factors. But other factors "caused the outlook to remain opaque," including the economic slowdown in Europe and China, domestic deflation, and strained diplomatic relations due to the territorial spat over the islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
Highlights over the reporting period include JAL and British Airways starting a joint business in October 2012 to strengthen links between Japan and Europe, such as offering codeshare flights between Tokyo (Haneda and Narita) and London (Heathrow), and selling aligned fares.
JAL opened new routes from Tokyo Narita to Boston in April, and to San Diego in December. It upped the frequency of Narita-Delhi and Narita-Singapore services, however, it suffered falling demand on China routes, which led to a reduction in capacity, as the territorial dispute between the two nations worsened.
JAL and Malaysia Airlines commenced a codeshare arrangement in July last year between Japan and Asia. The partnership aims to provide smoother connections between Asia and the Middle East via Malaysia Airlines' base in Kuala Lumpur.