IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Sector Snap: Airlines waver with oil prices

Airline stocks were mixed Tuesday as Japan's largest airline filed for bankruptcy protection.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Airline stocks were mixed Tuesday as Japan's largest airline filed for bankruptcy protection.

Japan Airlines, the nation's flagship carrier, will slash nearly 16,000 jobs, reduce pensions for retired staff, cut routes and shift to more fuel-efficient aircraft as part of its restructuring.

The airline is carrying about $25.6 billion in debt. About $10 billion in cash from the Japanese government will keep the airline operating during the reorganization. Lenders will forgive $8 billion in debt, and JAL investors will be wiped out.

There was no new word on the fierce battle between Delta Air Lines and American Airlines for a slice of JAL's business. The two airlines are desperate to grab rights to Japan Airlines' lucrative Asian routes, despite the carrier's troubles.

Delta and its SkyTeam partners have offered $1 billion, while American Airlines and its partners offered $1.4 billion in cash.

Delta, based in Atlanta, said Tuesday that it and its partners still "stand ready to provide assistance and support in any way possible."

Delta shares rose 20 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $12.94. The stock of American Airlines parent, AMR Corp., was unchanged at $8.09.

Shares of United Airlines' parent UAL Corp. fell 3 cents to $13.22. Continental shares fell 23 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $20.30 and US Airways rose 15 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $5.65.

Also on Tuesday, benchmark crude for February delivery rose more than a dollar to close above $79 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the first time in five trading sessions that crude finished higher. Higher energy can cut into profits at airlines.