RPT-Bankrupt JAL taps veteran executive as president

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TOKYO, Jan 27 (BestGrowthStock) – Japan Airlines Corp (9205.T: ) said
on Wednesday it has picked veteran company executive Masaru
Onishi as its new president to help lead the bankrupt carrier
through a sweeping state-backed restructuring.

Onishi, who has over 30 years experience with JAL and a
background in maintenance operations, will join industry outsider
Kazuo Inamori, already tapped as chairman and CEO, in tackling
volatile fuel prices, shrinking passenger numbers and hefty
restructuring charges.

Onishi, 54, will double as chief operating officer.

JAL last week filed for protection from creditors with more
than $25 billion in debts, making it Japan’s biggest ever
bankruptcy by a non-financial firm, and vowed to slash 30 percent
of its work force and axe money-losing routes. [ID:nSGE60I079]

The carrier, Asia’s biggest by revenue, will also need to
decide about rival offers of financial aid from Oneworld alliance
partner American Airlines (AMR.N: ) and Delta Air Lines (DAL.N: ) of
the SkyTeam group.

Onishi, now head of JAL unit Japan Air Commuter, will be its
first president with a background in maintenance operations, in
part as the carrier wants to ensure safe flight operations during
its restructuring, a JAL spokesman said.

Onishi will take up his new post on Feb. 1 alongside Inamori,
the 77-year-old founder of electronics maker Kyocera Corp
(6971.T: ).

JAL shares, which will be delisted on Feb. 20, were flat at 2
yen (2 cents) at the midday break, giving the company a market
value of about $60 million.

Investment Analysis

($1=89.41 Yen)
(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Michael Watson)

RPT-Bankrupt JAL taps veteran executive as president