Japan Airlines Co. said Friday its net profit for the nine months ended December increased more than fivefold from a year earlier to 85.87 billion yen ($587 million), thanks to a post-COVID surge in travel demand.

The major Japanese air carrier maintained its full-year earnings forecast, with its group net profit set to grow 2.3-fold to 80 billion yen on sales of 1.68 trillion yen, up 22.4 percent, signaling limited impact from the collision between one of its passenger jets and a Japan Coast Guard aircraft at Tokyo's Haneda airport last month.

The company said it expects to book an operating loss of around 15 billion yen due to the loss of one of its mainstay Airbus A350 planes that went up in flames shortly after all the passengers evacuated.

For the nine months, JAL's sales rose 24.2 percent to 1.25 trillion yen, their highest level for the period since its relisting in 2012, amid robust travel demand on the back of the removal of border control measures related to the coronavirus pandemic in April.

By segment, revenues in its international flight business climbed 64.3 percent while those in its domestic flight operations grew 25.9 percent.

"Demand for international flights, particularly those coming into Japan, is expected to grow further," Chief Financial Officer Yuji Saito told a press conference. "We believe we can continue to see a growth in sales and profit through the next fiscal year."

To further lure customers, the airline has introduced the Airbus A350-1000 in its first renewal of its flagship aircraft for international flights in about 20 years. The modern and efficient widebody aircraft began operating on the Haneda to New York route last month.

The collision at Haneda on Jan. 2 is set to dent annual revenue by about 2 billion yen due to flight cancellations following the temporary closure of one of the runways at the airport, but robust air travel demand is expected to offset the negative impact, according to the company.

All 379 people on board the JAL jet escaped without life-threatening injuries, while five people aboard the coast guard's Bombardier DHC8-300 aircraft were killed.

Rival ANA Holdings Inc. disclosed upbeat earnings earlier this week, lifting its net profit forecast for the year ending March to 130 billion yen from an earlier projection of 80 billion yen, citing better-than-expected travel demand.

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