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Virus-hit JAL assigns 500 employees to temporary jobs outside group

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- About 500 employees of Japan Airlines Co. are temporarily working at companies outside of its group per day, people familiar with the matter said Friday, as airlines, hit by a plunge in revenue in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, look for ways to reduce costs and avoid job cuts.

    The major Japanese carrier known as JAL wants to maintain its current workforce despite extensive flight suspensions and massive losses expected in the current business year.

    Its employees are taking on outside jobs at other companies, including parcel delivery firm Yamato Holdings Co. and public offices, among others, for up to two years, they said.

    The duration of such jobs varies, with some work only lasting a day, they said. If compensation for their outside work falls short of their regular salaries at the airline, JAL makes up the difference.

    ANA Holdings Inc., a parent company of another major Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways Co., also plans to have 400 or so employees work temporarily at other companies such as retailers.

    KDDI Corp., a major mobile phone carrier, said Friday the company will accept employees from ANA and JAL for temporary work assignments.

    "We want to do what we can to support (the airline companies), aiming for a mutual benefit," KDDI President Makoto Takahashi said in a press conference to report his company's earnings.

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