With the introduction of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Japan Airlines Co. is forecasting 25 percent growth in passenger transport along international routes by fiscal 2016.
The announcement came in a midterm management report released Feb. 15.
JAL, which has been under management restructuring since it filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2010, said it expects more passengers on its international routes, where it can bank on business customers, and the new pillar of its fleet, the 787 Dreamliner, a new midsize, wide-body passenger aircraft that consumes 20 percent less fuel than the older Boeing 767.
The midterm plan represents the management board's "commitment" toward having the company relisted on the stock market. It hopes to achieve this in autumn.
Also on Feb. 15, JAL held an extraordinary shareholders' meeting and named Yoshiharu Ueki as company president.
Masaru Onishi retired as president to become company chairman, while Kazuo Inamori, the Kyocera Corp. founder who has led the reform efforts, retired as chairman to become an honorary chairman.
The midterm management plan said about 500 billion yen ($6 billion) in cost cuts will be allocated to the purchase of aircraft.
The 787 Dreamliners will account for about 30 aircraft in JAL's roughly 200-strong fleet. JAL will decommission large aircraft with inferior fuel efficiency.
JAL will open new international flight routes using 787 Dreamliners to Europe, the United States and Southeast Asia. It will rely on a low-cost carrier, a JAL subsidiary, along highly competitive domestic routes.
JAL is seeking relisting on the basis of this plan. It will ask its business partners to hold JAL's shares over a long term to help stabilize management.
The midterm plan, however, has already encountered some turbulence. Four 787 Dreamliners were to be delivered by the end of March, but only one or two of them are expected to meet that deadline because of glitches found in some of their parts.
"We are somewhat behind schedule, but we have other aircraft models as well," said a senior JAL official. "We have some leeway."
Successive failures to achieve management goals led to JAL's bankruptcy.
"We were sometimes unable to meet our management goals," Inamori said. "But I believe we have regained the capacity to achieve them."
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