Independent Japanese carrier Air Do is reporting significant progress in restructuring, with its first profits since it launched operations.

The carrier, formally known as Hokkaido International Airlines, turned a pre-tax profit of ¥789 million ($7 million) for the first half ended September, compared with a loss of ´824 million in the same period the previous year. Revenue rose 37% and a full-year profit is forecast.

Air Do has been restructuring under Japan's Civil Rehabilitation Law since 2002 with operational assistance from All Nippon Airways (ANA). It credits its first-ever profits to cost-cutting efforts, as well as an increase in services during the half between Tokyo and Sapporo.

Air Do was launched late in 1998 as Japan was nearing completion of a phased deregulation programme. It has struggled to compete against dominant incumbents Japan Airlines and ANA, in part because slots are in short supply at key Japanese airports

Source: Airline Business