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Tuesday 19 January, 2010
A very short note to update you on some
neutral news, and with a bonus piece of good news as well.
Neutral news is that Japan Airlines today
declared bankruptcy. However, the impact on us as passengers
is probably close to zero. As is so often the case in this
country, its bankruptcy filing is merely part of a restructuring
strategy (the cynics would say 'stiff the current shareholders and find
a new bunch of suckers to replace them' but it is of course more complex
than that) and it says it will remain flying all scheduled services as
Well, expect those scheduled services to be
cut back in the days/week/months that follow (the airline has announced
plans to reduce the number of domestic routes to 119 from 136 and the
number of international routes to 79 from 93) but for now if you're on a
JL flight in the next little while, it almost certainly will operate as
Rather than see the airline accept a cash
investment from a foreign airline (both AA and DL were/are extremely
anxious to hop into bed with JL), Japan's Enterprise Turnaround
Initiative Corporation is giving the airline $11 billion from a
state-backed fund to re-bankroll the company. This is the third
time in ten years the airline has been bailed out by the government, but
the first time it actually declared bankruptcy.
JL has also appointed a new CEO, the retired
founder of Kyocera, by all accounts a very successful and driven
individual, and perhaps his lack of airline experience might prove a
plus rather than minus.
Here's an interesting side effect of JAL's
bankruptcy. Its fuel hedging contracts were voided as part of the
process, and that has apparently caused an early drop of $1.73/barrel in
oil prices for March delivery, although prices started to firm again
after that sudden dip. It is an ill wind that blows no good.
The good news - a BA sale to Europe,
from all 19 of their US gateways, good for travel through 28 March and
must be purchased by 28 January. Choose from either airfare only
or air plus hotel package. Details on their
Lastly, a mention of our
Scotland's Highlands and
Islands tour. We've had another couple sign up and need just
one more couple (or two singles) to make this a guaranteed tour.
Please do consider this lovely experience and come join a small group of
your fellow Travel Insiders as we travel through some of the loveliest
and least spoiled parts of Scotland this June.
Stay tuned for the regular newsletter on
Friday, and until then, please enjoy safe travels