Japan to give JAL 7.7 billion dollar loan support

TOKYO: The Japanese government is expected to guarantee about 700 billion yen (7.73 billion dollars) in loans and other funds provided by financial institutions to help ailing Japan Airlines, a report said Sunday.

The government will allocate the funds through the extra budget for the fiscal year to March, which is expected to be approved this week, the Nikkei business daily reported without citing sources.

The loan-guarantee plan is designed to prevent JAL from having to suspend scheduled flights due to a shortage of operating funds, the paper said.

JAL, which last month reported its fourth straight quarterly loss, has been hovering on the brink of bankruptcy in a crisis blamed on theglobal aviation industry downturn, mismanagement and its huge pension obligations.

The recipient of three government bailouts since 2001, the airline has said it plans thousands of job cuts and a drastic reduction in routes.

It is seeking more public funds as it restructures under the supervision of the state-backed Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp. of Japan.