Shares of Japan Airlines Corp jumped 4 percent on Wednesday after the struggling carrier said most retirees were willing to accept cuts to pension payouts.
JAL needs two-thirds of 8,800 retirees and two-thirds of 17,000 employees to agree to pension reductions -- a prerequisite for it to receive a government bailout.
The debt-laden carrier said on Tuesday that 5,700 retirees had said in a company survey that they were willing to accept proposed cuts to pension payouts, falling just short of the required numbers.
It may gain the two-thirds majority it needs if some of the 1,200 retirees who did not respond end up agreeing to the cuts.
JAL also said that 90 percent of its employees had responded that they understood the need for pension cuts.
The airline will ask retirees and employees to give their formal consent to an average 40 percent cut to their pension payouts by the end of January.
In addition to a potential state bailout, the airline is likely to get funds from foreign carriers eager to gain access to JAL's network to fast-growing Asian markets.
American Airlines has said it and other members of the Oneworld alliance along with private equity fund TPG are willing to invest $1.1 billion in JAL to keep it from defecting to Delta Air Lines and the rival Skyteam group.
Delta has said it and other SkyTeam members are ready to offer JAL a total financial aid package of about $1 billion, including a $500 million equity investment.
Shares of JAL were up 4 percent at 104 yen, outperforming the benchmark Nikkei average, which rose 0.9 percent.
(Reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo; Editing by Chris Gallagher)