Transport minister declines to rule out JAL bankruptcy

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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.