JAPAN - Japan Airlines Corp. President Haruka Nishimatsu proposed cutting retiree pensions by 30% to help return the carrier to profit, Bloomberg News reported.
Asia's largest airline by sales also suggested cutting employees' pensions by 50%, Nishimatsu told a group of former employees in Tokyo yesterday, spokesman Taro Namba said by phone today. The Nikkei newspaper reported the proposal earlier today.
The carrier, which has posted losses in three of the past four years, is seeking aid from a state-affiliated fund amid plunging international travel. Japan's Transport Minister Seiji Maehara urged the company's retirees to accept pension cuts.
"I believe JAL could survive if it undertakes a drastic cut in the number of employees, alterations in airplane equipment, and through resolving the pension issue," he told reporters in Tokyo today.
Japan Air fell as much as 9.5%, the most since October 16, to a record low JPY86 (US$0.97). It was down 7.4% as of 10:24 a.m. on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
More than a third of Japan Air's approximately 9,000 retirees planned to vote against a suggestion to cut pensions by more than 50%, according to a Web site run by The Committee to Consider the Revision of JAL's Pension Scheme, enough to block the cut.
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