|Quoting na (Reply 12):|
Japan is in economical trouble since a long time,
|Quoting 777way (Reply 17):|
Why not? IMO all they need is a better rebranding and they're as good as they were back in the day, a high class airline with a new perspective.
1. No, although it doesn't necessarily mean they won't order a VLA in the future.
2. Yes, and that's a big factor in terms of "former glory."
3. No, because it's about more than branding.
JAL's "glory days" were the 1960s and moreso the 1970s and 1980s. Those decades were marked by a meteoric rise in Japan's profile as a world economy and a center of business, technology, and culture. Japan's economic ascension helped state-owned JAL become, as some have said already, a kind of Asian Pan-Am. JAL's glory days, so to speak, were glorious because Japan itself was ascendent at the time. You may hear people today talk about the rise of China and how economically powerful China has become. In 1983, you could hear the very same things being said about Japan and to a lesser extent prior to the 1997 Asian financial crisis, about the "four Asian Tigers" (Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea).
Much of JAL's 747 fleet was bought during the 1970s and 1980s, when Japan's economy was growing at 4-5% a year. In the 1960s, Japan was a place where goods were manufacture cheaply and exported in huge quantities - the first breakthrough phase of the post-ww2 Japanese economic miracle. In the 1970s, Japanese manufacturing and design was turning out more home-grown and more and more sophisticated products - particularly automobiles - which moved the export economy even further and helped establish many Japanese firms that are now household names - Sony, Toyota, Honda, NEC, Toshiba - as world leaders or at least major players in their fields. In the 1980s, the financial sector in Japan boomed as a result of all the capital on hand from all this exporting. In that decade, home-grown consumption began to keep pace with export demand, which continued the strong growth with internal consumer demand as well as strong exports. Eventually, the economy heated up into a speculative bubble (not directly related to exporting goods but tangential to it), and the whole thing came crashing down.
But by 1993, JAL's competition was catching up and Japan was in recession - and has continued to stagnate economically ever since even though it is still a huge economy and a technological leader. JAL lost the umbrella of state protection and long-haul monopoly in the 1980s, leaving it further vulnerable to an increasingly large field that now encompasses vastly improved carriers like KE
, newer entrants like BR
, traditional competitors that got larger and better like CX
, and the wave of PRC
JAL's 1980s glory days and massive 747 fleet are fun to think about - just like Braniff's or Pan-Am's, but they're long gone and that model of business doesn't fit with the conditions of the market today in JAL's situation.
JAL needs to aim for new glory days and not chase the past, because time has moved on. Post bankruptcy, it seems like more rational and efficient decisions are the order of they day and that seems to be working for JAL. That isn't to say that JAL won't or shouldn't order a plane like the 747-8i if it makes sense for them - but for now, I don't think they would feel that investment was necessary or prudent - and better that they survive that way than go out of business by chasing the past.