* Q3 operating profit around 46.2 bln yen - Reuters calculation
* JAL maintains full-year operating profit f’cast at 166 bln yen (Adds three-month profit, background)
TOKYO, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Japan Airlines Co (JAL) on Wednesday posted a 2.9 percent rise in operating profit in its third quarter, aided by buoyant demand from inbound and outbound travellers.
Operating profit for the three months to December was around 46.2 billion yen ($425.18 million), according to Reuters calculations based on the company’s results for the first nine months of the fiscal year.
The company maintained its full-year operating forecast at 166 billion yen for the year ending March.
The results come a week after JAL announced that President Yoshiharu Ueki, who helped lead the company’s recovery from bankruptcy with cost cuts and code-sharing deals, would be replaced in April.
The challenge for his successor, Yuji Akasaka, would be to regain market share from rival ANA Holdings, which benefitted from JAL’s bankruptcy by winning slots at Haneda Airport, becoming Japan’s biggest international airline in 2016. ($1 = 108.6600 yen) (Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)