Japan's Homegrown Advantage (05:17)
Japan Airlines had a unique homegrown advantage in the early 1980s due to extremely low interest rates. This allowed them to borrow cheaply and keep costs down, which allowed them to offer great deals to customers and expand their business. However, when the Japanese economy began to wobble in the '90s the airline was unable to cope and began to struggle.
Changing Competitive Landscape (07:29)
Japan Airlines was doing well in the 1980s, but started expanding into other businesses and buying stakes in other airlines. This led to inefficiencies and escalating costs which caused them to declare bankruptcy in 1992. They were hit hard by the SARS outbreak, the New York World Trade Center attack, and the war in Iraq.
Japanese Airlines in Tumultuous Times (00:00)
Japan Airlines was in a lot of debt in the mid 2000s and was unable to compete with rival airlines because of their high operating costs. In 2010 they filed for bankruptcy protection and had to slash 15,000 jobs.
Japan's Flagship Airline (05:57)
In the late 1980s Japan Airlines became privatized and began expanding rapidly. However, the airline's high debt levels led to financial troubles in the late 1990s and early 2000s. A new CEO was brought in to turn the company around, and he successfully reduced Japan Airlines' debt levels.
Japanese Government Intervenes (04:20)
In 2010 the global financial meltdown had pushed Japan Airlines even closer to the brink of bankruptcy. The Japanese government decided there was one person who might just save the day. So Mr. Inamori was chosen to lead the new Japan Airlines. Kazuo Inamori quickly put in place his plans to reverse Japan Airlines' ailing fortunes.
Kazuo Inamori as CEO (07:05)
Kazuo Inamori, a trained Buddhist monk, was brought in to turn around Japan Airlines. He developed a management style which flew in the face of Japanese tradition and focused on the bottom line. Employees were encouraged to take ownership of their work and make decisions that would benefit the company.
Inamori's Principles of Customer Service and Safety (08:35)
Inamori's turnaround of Japan Airlines was successful in restoring the company to profitability. He did this by investing in new aircraft and routes, while maintaining the company's focus on customer service and safety. The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will provide an opportunity for Japan Airlines to boost revenues.
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