Japan Airlines filed for bankruptcy today in one of the nation's largest corporate failures, entering a restructuring from which it seeks to emerge leaner, smarter, and free of crippling debt. Asia's biggest carrier by revenue, staggering under a $25 billion debt mountain, JAL will slash nearly 16,000 jobs, cut routes, and shift to more fuel-efficient aircraft as part of its restructuring.
Government cash will keep JAL's planes in the air during the reorganization; its shares will be removed from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Delta Air Lines and American Airlines are battling for a slice of JAL's business, with Delta and its SkyTeam partners offering $1 billion, including $500 million in cash, to lure JAL away from American's Oneworld alliance. American Airlines and its partners say they are ready to inject $1.4 billion cash into the Japanese airline.