JAL’s New President Mitsuko Tottori Stresses ‘Room for Growth’ in First Interview; Eyes Secondary Revenue Streams

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Mitsuko Tottori, president of Japan Airlines Co., in Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo, on Wednesday

Mitsuko Tottori, the new president of Japan Airlines Co., cited “room for growth” when she announced on Wednesday that the company will strengthen its secondary, non-airline revenues.

Tottori revealed this stance during her first interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun and other media since assuming the top post on April 1. Tottori is the first female president of the airliner and the first president with experience as a flight attendant.

Regarding management, Tottori stated that the company aims to achieve 50% of its revenue from secondary business areas by strengthening mileage services and low-cost carriers (LCCs), a strategy based on the company’s downturn in business performance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

JAL has been expanding its non-airline business activities, which account for 40% of its revenue. Tottori believes that the mileage business in particular “still has room for growth.”

Asked about how she feels being JAL’s first female president, Tottori said, “I don’t have any particular feelings about being a female president.

“Major life events are a natural part of a woman’s life, so I want to create a pleasant workplace with systems and structures that make it easy for women to return to work.”

In a January accident at Haneda Airport, all 379 people on board the JAL aircraft survived, and the crews’ response was praised. “There’s no business without safety. There are lessons to be learned for the future, and we’ll incorporate them into our training,” she stressed.