JAL to reassign 3,000 employees as int'l air travel struggles

Japan Airlines Co. will transfer around 3,000 employees to low-cost carrier and other non-core operations as international and business travel continue to be hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, company sources said Wednesday.

With the transfer, the airline will focus its human resources on operations related to tourism, as demand for its domestic air services has recovered to over 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels, the sources said.

Besides its budget airline subsidiary Zipair Tokyo Inc., some employees will be assigned to Jalux Inc., which deals with selected merchandise sales, and its mileage program business, the sources said.

The move comes after the company in May decided to increase its workforce in growth areas by about 3,000 compared with fiscal 2019, including new hires at the low-cost carrier, in the revised version of its medium-term business plan.

The major airline projects demand for its international services throughout fiscal 2022 to remain at less than 50 percent of pre-pandemic levels, after the spread of the coronavirus prompted many countries to tighten their borders.

The pandemic has also hit business travel, with companies holding online meetings instead.

© Kyodo News