ANA Holdings Inc. on Monday reported a profit in the three months ended in June for the first time in three years as travel demand began to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The major Japanese airline said it returned to the black for the April-June quarter with a net profit of 1.00 billion yen ($7.5 million), a reversal from a net loss of 51.16 billion yen it logged a year ago. Sales rose 76.2 percent to 350.42 billion yen.
Tourism and business travel demand grew as the government imposed no movement restrictions in spring.
"We absorbed recovering demand very effectively," Chief Financial Officer Kimihiro Nakahori told a press conference. "Our cost-cutting measures boosted our profit, too."
On a quarterly basis, the airline said it posted its first profit in 10 quarters.
ANA's revenue from domestic flights more than doubled to 102.0 billion yen in the quarter. Its revenue from international services jumped nearly fivefold to 62.2 billion yen, with passengers particularly increasing on flights to and from Asia and North America.
Domestic rival Japan Airlines Co. also reported improved results for the three-month period the same day, with its net loss shrinking to 19.56 billion yen from 57.92 billion yen a year earlier. Sales more than doubled to 268.90 billion yen from 133.03 billion yen.
While the seventh wave of the pandemic in Japan has pushed up the country's daily infection cases to record numbers in July, its impact on air travel demand appears limited so far, the company said.
"People are getting used to living with the coronavirus," JAL Senior Managing Executive Officer Hideki Kikuyama told reporters. "I don't think there will be a big dent in demand."
A weakening yen is also a favorable factor for inbound tourism, both companies said, expressing hope for the government's further easing of border control measures.
Despite the improving business environment, both companies maintained their earnings forecasts for the current business year through March, citing uncertainty concerning the virus situation going forward, the war in Ukraine, and rising oil prices.
ANA projected a net profit of 21 billion yen on sales of 1.66 trillion yen, while JAL said it continues to expect a net profit of 45 billion yen on sales of 1.39 trillion yen.