Japan Airlines delisted from Tokyo Stock Exchange

18:15, February 20, 2010      

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A TV cameraman films the blank share price of Japan Airlines Corp. (JAL) beneath its rival All Nippon Airways (ANA) at an electric board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan, Friday morning, Feb. 19, 2010. Kyodo news reported shares of Japan's flagship airline, which filed for bankruptcy one month ago with $25.6 billion in debt, finished the company's last trading day on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Friday at 1 yen, after being flooded by sell orders from the outset. The nation's largest airline will be officially delisted from the Tokyo bourse Saturday. (Xinhua/Agencies Photo)

Shares of Japan Airlines Corporation (JAL), the nation's largest airline, which filed for bankruptcy protection a month ago, was officially delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) on Saturday.

Shares of the cash-strapped carrier finished the company's last trading day on the TSE on Friday at 1 yen, unchanged since Feb. 2, ending the carrier's almost half a century of presence on the bourse.

Around 27.6 million shares were offloaded on its last day of trading.

"This will undoubtedly be a symbolic case in which shareholders are made to take responsibility," said Tsuyoshi Segawa, an equity strategist at Mizuho Securities Co.

"However, I do think that such an end could have been avoided had JAL taken a different path at an earlier point."

Japan Airlines' filing for bankruptcy protection on Jan. 19 marked one of Japan's biggest ever non-financial corporate failures and the iconic carrier, once the proud flagship and symbol of Japan's economic prowess, has entered into a new era of state-led rehabilitation under the Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan (ETIC).

Dr. Kazuo Inamori, a well-respected entrepreneur and founder of electronics giant Kyocera Corp., became the new chairman and CEO of Japan Airlines Corp. (JAL) on Feb. 1, replacing Haruka Nishimatsu, who resigned as part of JAL's bankruptcy proceedings.

Inamori, well known for turning around ailing companies, has teamed up with Masaru Onishi, the former head of Japan Air Commuter Co., a JAL subsidiary who has assumed the role of president and group chief operating officer of JAL.

JAL, once revered as national symbol of Japan's postwar boom and having transformed a handful of leased planes in 1951 into a nearly 50,000 staff mega-carrier with a fleet of almost 280 aircraft, has, since 2001, struck three previous rescue deals with its banks and the Japanese government.

JAL was first listed on the TSE's Second Section in 1961 and then moved to the First Section in 1970. After integrating operations with Japan Air System under a new holding company in October 2002, the carrier's shares hit a high of 366 yen in October 2003.

The stock fell to the record low of 1 yen for the first time on Jan. 22, three days after JAL filed for bankruptcy protection.

The state-led rehabilitation plan is largely expected to slash the number of JAL's subsidiaries by around 50 percent, and around 15,700 jobs, roughly 30 percent of its group workforce, will be cut by the business year through March 2013, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

Additionally the firm will dispense with 53 aged, fuel- inefficient 747 liners, in favor of 33 more cost-effective smaller jets and a number of superfluous and domestic and international routes are to be discontinued, in light of falling patronage and rising fuel costs.

Source: Xinhua
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