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ANA posts record $1 bil. net loss in April-June over coronavirus

This file photo shows an All Nippon Airways Co. airplane and a towing truck at Saga Airport in March 2019. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- ANA Holdings Inc. on Wednesday reported a record net loss of 108.82 billion yen ($1 billion) in the April-June quarter, as the novel coronavirus pandemic sharply reduced demand for air travel.

    The parent company of All Nippon Airways Co. said it posted a group operating loss of 159.07 billion yen in the three months through June, plunging from a profit of 16.17 billion yen a year earlier. Consolidated sales tumbled 75.7 percent to 121.61 billion yen.

    The company did not provide an earnings forecast for the business year ending March, citing uncertainty in its business environment due to the pandemic.

    ANA said the number of passengers for international flights excluding those of its low-cost carrier plummeted 96.3 percent to 91,582 in the reporting quarter, while domestic flights saw a decline of 88.2 percent to 1.28 million.

    "The number of domestic passengers has gradually picked up in July, but demand for international flights remains very weak," said ANA Holdings Chief Financial Officer Ichiro Fukuzawa in an online press conference.

    He added, however, "Seat reservations for domestic flights after the second half of August and later remain sluggish" given the recent resurgence of virus infections across the country, although the government launched a subsidy campaign earlier this month to spur domestic travel.

    "We had initially expected the virus outbreak to fade out around next month, but we are now cautious about further developments and will closely monitor the situation," Fukuzawa said.

    While the pandemic hit the company hard, sales in its international cargo sector remained stable, compared with a 2.7 percent decline a year earlier, thanks to growing demand for shipments of hygiene products such as face masks.

    "Demand for air freight cannot completely make up for the falling number of passengers, but we would like to take advantage of our cargo business," Fukuzawa said.

    He underlined that the company has been financially stable as it held 542 billion yen in cash as of the end of June.

    "We will maintain our workforce and overcome this crisis" caused by the pandemic, he added.

    The company, however, plans to cut 255 billion yen in costs in fiscal 2020 by reducing its fleet of aircraft and introducing a partially paid leave program for 43,500 employees at its 36 group companies, according to Fukuzawa.

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