JAL To Outsource Some Maintenance - Report

April 27, 2010

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Debt-ridden Japan Airlines plans to outsource a portion of its aircraft maintenance, to cope with sharp staff cuts to be implemented as part of its rehabilitation, the Nikkei business daily said.

JAL concluded that an operational overhaul is necessary to ensure that current safety standards are upheld with fewer personnel and would announce its rehabilitation plan on Wednesday, the paper said, without citing sources.

The Nikkei added that aircraft interiors maker Jamco will handle brake maintenance on all JAL planes from around the end of the next month.

JAL also plans to outsource some preflight inspection and maintenance work now handled at domestic airports, the business daily said.

Outside firms will handle support tasks that do not require certification as a mechanic, such as preparations for tyre changes and the company mainly intends to tap service providers that now handle its baggage and cargo, the paper said.

Personnel will also be transferred to cover areas likely to be vacated by workers opting for early retirement, the Nikkei said.

The airline received 1,000 more requests for early retirements than the 2,700 that it had sought and some workers have already entered into early retirement ahead of the May-end start date by using up leave days, the paper said.