On August 3, 2021, Japan Airlines (JAL) posted its financial results for the first quarter of 2021. Despite a positive advancement, recovery remains dimmed, as the international air travel demand remains at low levels due to border restrictions worldwide. 

JAL narrowed a net loss to 82.6 billion yen ($756 million) in the first quarter of 2021, an improvement of 48.4 billion yen ($443 million) compared to Q1 2020. Adding to that, the airline’s revenue increased by 74.1% year-on-year to 133 billion yen ($1.2 billion).

“Declarations of a state of emergency and strict measures to prevent COVID-19 infection have been imposed repeatedly in Japan. As a result, the international and domestic passenger demands still remain at low levels,” read the JAL statement. 

The number of passengers on international routes reached 151,000, (345.9% up compared to the same period in Q1 2020) and international passenger revenue was 11.2 billion yen ($102 million). As for domestic travelers, the figure totaled 2,708 (120% up from the same period in Q1 2020).

The airline’s bright spot has been the demand for cargo. In Q1 2021, cargo mail revenue was 47.6 billion yen ($436 million), an increase of 79.3% compared to the same period in 2020.

Japan’s second-largest air carrier did not provide full-year earnings predictions, saying the current “unforeseeable situations” made forecasts too complicated, adding they would disclose the forecast as soon as “the situation becomes foreseeable”.