JAL bail-out could be delayed to 2010

Singapore
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Japan Airlines' (JAL) future is likely to remain uncertain for several more months while the Japanese Government's Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation (ETIC) decides whether to help it.

"We would like to (help) but first we must do a survey" of JAL's business, and this means the airline will have to wait until 2010 before any financial assistance from ETIC is forthcoming, says an official at ETIC, who wishes to remain anonymous.

"There is also a possibility that we may say 'no' but this is unlikely," adds the official.

The official also confirms that ETIC is formulating a new financial turnaround plan, rather than relying on one that a government appointed task force has drawn up.

JAL applied on 29 October for financial assistance from ETIC after the airline's banks reportedly refused to waive some of its debts.

Japan's government established ETIC in October with a remit to help Japanese companies hampered by debt.