JAL seen posting operating profit in March: report

(Reuters) - Japan Airlines Corp JALFQ.PK is believed to have generated a single-month operating profit in March, following five consecutive quarters of operating loss, according to a report by the turnaround entity overseeing the airline's rehabilitation, the Nikkei business daily reported.

The Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp (ETIC) of Japan told a Tokyo court in a report dated last Friday that JAL’s profitability is recovering, helped by improving earnings from international routes and cost-cutting measures, the Nikkei reported.

Subsidiary Japan Airlines International Co appears to have secured a small operating profit in March, according to the state-backed ETIC, marking an improvement from the unit’s operating losses in January and February, the daily said.

However, business conditions appear to have been hurt in April by volcanic eruptions in Iceland, which resulted in forced flight cancellations, the daily added.

JAL, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, was provided with a credit line of 600 billion yen ($6.51 billion) for bridge loans by ETIC and the Development Bank of Japan, the paper said.

According to the report, JAL has tapped 305 billion yen so far, and is not likely to require any additional loans for the time being, the Nikkei said.

($1=92.15 YEN)

Reporting by Gowri Jayakumar in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian