April 28, 2020 / 6:38 AM / a month ago

Japan airline ANA skips earnings forecast, dividend amid virus slump

TOKYO, April 28 (Reuters) - ANA Holdings, Japan’s biggest airline, said on Tuesday it would not release an earnings forecast for the full year amid the coronavirus pandemic that has caused an unprecedented slump in air travel and could further stagnate the global economy.

ANA also said it will not pay a dividend this year.

The airline has cut international passenger flights by nine- tenths and domestic services by 70% as the coronavirus outbreak and related travel restrictions slash demand for seats on its planes.

ANA, which before the pandemic had expected operating profit of 140 billion yen ($1.31 billion) for the business year that ended on March 31, posted a 61 billion yen operating profit for the year, 63% less than a year ago.

International and domestic bookings at ANA and local rival Japan Airlines in April have been about a tenth of what they were a year ago. To cope with the downturn ANA has delayed the hiring of some cabin crew.

The airline is also seeking 100 billion yen of commercial bank loans and a further 350 billion yen credit line including from the government-run Development Bank of Japan. In a stimulus package equivalent to a fifth of Japan’s annual GDP, the government has promised financial support for Japan’s carriers.

ANA said it will release a forecast when it can. ($1 = 107.2400 yen) (Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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