TOKYO, Nov. 11 (Reuters) – Japan’s largest airline, ANA Holdings (9202.T), has asked the government to ease restrictions on foreign visitors, and is pushing for a revival of domestic tourism subsidies to encourage travel as pandemic infections are declining, the chief executive said. said Thursday.
Immigration restrictions from the coronavirus in Japan have led to a drop of about 95% in the number of passengers on international flights, but daily infections have fallen to less than 200 this month, after peaking in August of more than 20,000.
“If we’re able to make money, we should be able to,” Shinya Katanozaka, CEO of the airline that has lost seven quarters in a row, said in an interview with Reuters. read more
“It will give us the strength to get through things in the future.”
Last December, as the number of COVID-19 infections began to rise, Japan halted a program of subsidies for hotels and travel tickets that ANA and rival Japan Airlines Co. (9201.T) had helped increase passenger numbers on domestic flights.
The government could resume travel subsidies next month and relax entry limits for foreign visitors to 3,500 per day, Katanozaka said.
Last month, ANA raised its forecast of operating loss for the year to March 31 more than four times, to 125 billion yen ($1.11 billion), and said it would cut its workforce by a fifth over five years.
($1 = 113,0900 yen)
Reporting by Maki Shiraki; writing by Tim Kelly Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Robert Birsel
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.