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With few passengers, ANA and JAL haul cargo to stay aloft

Chartered freight flights skyrocket during pandemic

ANA's cargo unit was its number of chartered flights per month rise to around 400 since spring. (Photo courtesy of ANA)

TOKYO -- Japanese air carriers ANA Holdings and Japan Airlines have pivoted heavily to international freight transport in an attempt to offset the crippling loss of passenger traffic caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan's two largest airlines are in the throes of major slides, with the companies logging a combined $1.9 billion net loss for the April-June quarter as the pandemic keeps borders closed and travelers wary of enclosed spaces. Last month, Nikkei reported that ANA in talks for $4.6 billion in loans from the Development Bank of Japan as well as private financial institutions.

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