All Nippon Airways (ANA) posted a net income loss of ¥35 billion ($390 million) for the first three fiscal quarters of this year due to the global economic downturn.

The net income loss for the nine months ending 31 December compares to a net income profit of ¥9 billion the corresponding period last year, says the Star Alliance carrier.

Operating revenues fell 17% to ¥924 billion while operating expenses fell 10% to ¥962 billion, it says.

In the domestic market, "there was a slump in overall demand due to factors including the economic downturn" and the H1N1 outbreak, it says.

These factors also led people to refrain from travelling overseas and even though there has been a recent recovery in international leisure travel, "we can not see the recovery in revenue per passenger".

Cargo traffic, meanwhile, on domestic and international routes fell although cargo traffic on China-bound routes has recovered thanks to domestic stimulus packages in China, it adds.

For the remainder of this fiscal year, ANA says the "environment remains challenging".

"The airline sector continues to face difficult times" but sluggish demand on domestic routes appears to have bottomed and there are signs of recovery in business and leisure travel, it adds.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news