Japan's transport minister has stopped short of ruling out the possibility that Japan Airlines (JAL) may go into bankruptcy.
The government has always been a staunch supporter of JAL but, in a parliamentary hearing, Japan's transport minister Seiji Maehara declined to rule out the possibility of bankruptcy.
"I have never said a court-led bankruptcy is impossible," he said.
Loss-making JAL is talking to its banks in an effort to reach an agreement on debt repayments. It has also applied to the government-backed Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan (ETIC) for a financial bail-out.