Delta eyes Japan Airlines stake
Tokyo, September 12, 2009
Delta Air Lines, the world's biggest carrier, is in talks to take a stake in Japan Airlines Corporation and forge a business alliance, a source has said.
The business alliance will likely include code-sharing on international flights, the source said.
"I can't verify what has been reported by NHK television and can't comment further at this time," a Japan Airlines (JAL) spokeswoman was quoted as saying in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
Standard & Poor's Equity analyst Jim Corridore reiterated his "buy" rating on Delta, saying the purchase of a Japan Airlines stake would boost the Atlanta-based carrier's presence in Japan and further diversify its international route network.
"While we might question the timing of any major cash outlay during a severe air travel demand downturn, we think DAL has enough cash on its balance sheet to make a major investment," Corridore said in a research note.
JAL posted a 99 billion yen ($1.1 billion) net loss for the April-June quarter and is headed for its second-straight annual loss this business year to March, hit by a downturn in travel and as it struggles to rein in costs.
The earnings slide forced JAL to secure a 100 billion yen credit line earlier this year backed by the government, a deal that has required it to draw up a wide-ranging restructuring plan under supervision by the state. JAL has announced plans to cut unprofitable routes and reduce its workforce. – TradeArabia News Service