Japan Airlines Corp's <9205.T> board of directors decided on Tuesday to file for bankruptcy protection, Kyodo news agency said.

JAL spokespeople were not immediately available for comment.

JAL, mired in losses and weighed down by about $16 billion in debt, is expected to file for bankruptcy around 0800 GMT to 0830 GMT (3 a.m. EST and 3:30 a.m. EST), sources told Reuters.

(Reporting by Tokyo newsroom)