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Skymark submits turnaround proposal

  • 2015-06-04 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
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(Yomiuri: May 30, 2015 – p. 11)


 Skymark Airlines, the No.3 carrier in Japan, has proposed rebuilding its business by concentrating on smaller aircraft services and code-sharing flights with ANA Holdings in its turnaround plan submitted to the Tokyo District Court on May 29. Negotiations with Airbus and other major creditors hold the key to getting approval for the plan at a creditor meeting, which will be convened in July.


 The troubled airline indicated in the turnaround proposal that it will concentrate on flights using smaller Boeing aircraft and take advantage of its 36 landing slots at Tokyo’s Haneda airport. But it has seen the number of passengers decline on the year due to its switch to smaller aircraft. The plan calls for rebuilding the business with the help of All Nippon Airways, the airline subsidiary of ANA Holdings, through such measures as code-sharing services, under which the sponsor carrier will buy portions of seats from Skymark.


 This will allow ANA to engage more with Skymark on both financial and operational fronts, which will raise the question of whether Skymark can continue to offer services at low prices.


 “We will turn Skymark into a company different from major carriers and other budget airlines,” said Nobuo Sayama, a partner at investment fund Integral, at a May 29 press conference. ANA Holdings is on the same wavelength. “We will not get involved in Skymark’s process of determining routes, the number of flights and airfares,” said Toyoyuki Nagamine, a senior vice president at ANA Holdings, who was also present at the press conference. He stressed that the characteristics unique to Skymark will remain intact.


 But Hajime Tozaki, a professor at Waseda University, said: “There is no guarantee that airfares will go down. It becomes difficult to expect Skymark to set innovative airfares, as it needs to take into account the intention of ANA.” (Abridged)

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