Featured Image: Christian Winter/Airways

Japan Airlines Reports Strong 2023 Performance

DALLAS – Japan Airlines (JL) capped off a successful fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, exceeding expectations with significant revenue and profit growth. This positive performance reflects the strong post-pandemic demand for travel, particularly for international flights to Japan.

Japan Airlines Group's consolidated revenue reached JPY 1 trillion 651.8 billion (USD 10.7 billion), a significant 20% increase year-on-year.  Profitability improved even higher, with EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) reaching JPY 145.2 billion (USD 920 million), reflecting a 120% increase compared to the previous year. The EBIT was further revised upwards by JPY 5.2 billion.

Japan Airlines Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner. Photo: Christian Winter/Airways

Japan Airlines Group Business Performance

The resumption of free travel led to a surge in passenger numbers. International passenger traffic saw a particularly strong rebound, exceeding pre-pandemic levels for visitors to Japan for the first time in October 2023. Overall, passenger numbers reached approximately 1.5 times the previous year's figures. 

Both the international and domestic passenger businesses of JAL's full-service carrier segment saw significant growth in passenger numbers and revenue. Domestic passenger revenue reached approximately 1.2 times the previous year, with revenue per passenger exceeding expectations.

Despite a slightly declining air cargo market, the international cargo business captured strong e-commerce demand and focused on high-value-added cargo. This resulted in a 1.7 times increase in revenue compared to FY2019, with weight carried increasing by about 7%.

The LCC business, which includes ZIPAIR (ZG) and Spring Airlines Japan (IJ), achieved profitability for FY2023. ZG expanded its network to include new routes like Vancouver (YVR) and plans to further increase its fleet size. IJ focuses on capturing future inbound demand with its domestic and international routes, operating from Narita Airport (NRT). 

ZIPAIR Boeing 787. Photo: Rohan Ramalingam/Airways

Profitability Maintained Despite Cost Increases

While costs rose by approximately 15% due to factors like increased services, a weaker yen, and investments in human resources, JAL successfully controlled costs and improved yield (revenue per passenger), leading to an overall increase in profitability.

Efforts to stimulate domestic travel throughout the year, such as promotional campaigns during off-peak seasons, resulted in passenger numbers reaching approximately 1.2 times the previous year.

Japan Airlines Boeing 767. Photo: Michal Mendyk/Airways

Recent Initiatives, Future Outlook

Japan Airlines is continuously expanding its network and enhancing its services. Recent initiatives include introducing the Airbus A350-1000 on key routes like Haneda Airport (HND) to New York (JFK) and Haneda (HND) to Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), offering improved comfort and promoting decarbonization efforts. JAL also launched the first direct flight from Japan to the Middle East on the Haneda (HND) to Doha (DOH) route and is expanding its cargo operations with new freighter aircraft.

JAL Group remains focused on achieving further growth in the current fiscal year ending March 2025. The company's medium-term management plan outlines strategies to navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities, including network expansion, service enhancements, and cost management.

Consolidated revenue for the current fiscal year is forecasted at JPY 1 trillion 930.0 billion (USD 12.5 billion), EBIT at JPY 170.0 billion (USD 1.1 billion), and net profit at JPY 100.0 billion (USD 644 million).

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