Japan Airlines, the country's flag carrier and second-largest airline, is seeing its profits climb. Photo: iStock

Japanese airlines ANA and JAL said Friday that skyrocketing demand ahead of the 2020 Olympics had boosted their bottom line.

ANA booked a record operating profit of 165 billion yen ($1.5 billion), up 0.3% on the previous year as sales grew more than 4% to 2.05 trillion yen.

“The airline industry in Japan has generally seen strong demand along with a large increase in foreign visitors to Japan,” the company said.

However, net profits fell 23% on a year-on-year basis because last year’s figures included a one-off gain from integrating a low-cost carrier as a subsidiary.

Looking ahead, ANA forecast net profit would slip 2.5% to 108 billion yen and that operating profits would stagnate.

Rival JAL saw net profit rise 11.4% to 150.8 billion yen as “demand for international flights expanded.”

However, JAL also predicted headwinds, with net profits seen dropping around 25% as costs rise due to the ballooning price of fuel and an expanded fleet.

– with reporting by AFP

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