Retired or get layoff


As some of you might have heard already, Japan Airlines (JAL) still has not reached its early retirement target of 1,500 job cuts. Earlier JAL discussed with the unions about possible layoffs if the target is not met but that still is not enough. Now JAL is targeting about 320 pilots and some cabin attendants and essentially told them either retired or be dismissed. How? By grounding them!

According to JAL spokesman Satoru Tanaka, they have to meet the early retirement target of 1,500 job cuts by October 22. JAL is offering its employees generous retirement allowances in return. If the target is not met by the deadline, JAL will have no choice but to reach the target through layoff.

"We have handed over blank (monthly) work schedules to some crew members including pilots, aiming to encourage them to apply for the voluntary retirement scheme. If the company fails to meet the 1,500 job loss target, it has no choice but to dismiss some of employees forcibly"

The targeted employees are those who are close it their retirement age (above 50) and who has called in for sick more often that other employees. This is just a way JAL uses to communicate with its employees the criteria for dismissals and made them aware they are on the chopping board. There are still two weeks left and we will see how this goes. Hopefully JAL could meet its target by then

AFP via Google
The Japan Times
Asahi (Japanese)



  1. My wife's cousin just got laid off (he's a 50+ pilot with JAL). Apparently the retirement package is not particularly generous, compared with their (high) salary.

    Makes business sense perhaps but let's not lose track of the fact that these are people with families who are very unlikely to get re-employed in Japan.

  2. Sorry to hear about that sendaiben. Has JAL started laying off people already? Or your wife's cousin participated in the early retirement program? I believe when they said generous because they are comparing with not having a package at all if the company failed!?

    ANA is starting a new LCC soon, salary might not be as generous but maybe he can apply too? JAL might start a new LCC too, maybe they will give the early retired employees priority and hire them back with a lower salary?

  3. By the way, I didn't use the word "generous" it's the spokesman who said that. Check the AFP article

  4. Thanks JALPak. No problem. *I* think the package is quite generous, actually (compared to my salary!), but it's somewhere in the region of 2.5 times annual salary, which is apparently low for retirement pay...

    He's applying all over the place (Turkish Airlines, last time I heard) but there are a LOT of people in the same boat.

    Fingers crossed!