Japan Airlines (JAL) would likely pay back this month JPY¥185 billion (USD$2.38 billion) of its JPY¥220 billion bank loans maturing in January 2013, the Nikkei reported.
The airline may even repay the remaining JPY¥35 billion or so by spring, the paper said.
Earnings at JAL, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January last year, have improved dramatically and the airline will use its growing financial leeway to pay down debt and lighten its interest burden ahead of a relisting targeted for autumn 2012, the business paper said.
For the full-year ending next March, JAL has nearly doubled its previous guidance, the newspaper reported.
In March, JAL completed payment of JPY¥400 billion in rehabilitation obligations and finished its court-administered restructuring, but borrowed about JPY¥250 billion from 11 domestic banks such as the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ), the Nikkei said.
The DBJ has served as JAL’s main lender during its rehabilitation, the newspaper said.
Mizuho Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ are expected to take over that role after the loans are repaid, the daily said.
JAL, however, may decide to maintain an outstanding loan balance of several tens of billions of yen or so past next spring, as it continues to tap megabank know-how in foreign exchange operations and fuel-related transactions, the Nikkei said.