Delta joins bid to rescue bankrupt Japan airline Skymark

GMT 03:24 2015 Wednesday ,15 July

Arab Today, arab today Delta joins bid to rescue bankrupt Japan airline Skymark

Skymark filed for bankruptcy protection
Tokyo - AFP

US carrier Delta Air Lines will join a bid to rescue Japan's bankrupt carrier Skymark, the US firm leading the push said Wednesday, possibly giving it unprecedented access to the domestic market.

Intrepid Aviation's announcement followed a report that said the plan -- under which Delta would buy as much as 20 percent of Skymark -- would give the US airline access to domestic landing slots at Tokyo's Haneda airport.

The Intrepid-led plan is a rival offer to one submitted by Skymark earlier this year that would see it owned by its banks, All Nippon Airways (ANA) and a domestic investment fund.

"Intrepid believes this plan offers the best opportunity to preserve Skymark as Japan's third-largest independent carrier and is in the best interests of the carrier's employees suppliers and creditors," the company said in a statement.

Intrepid's chief executive Franklin Pray, together with Masaru Morimoto, head of Delta's Japanese unit, are expected to give further details at a news briefing later Wednesday in Tokyo.

Skymark's creditors vote on the competing proposals next month.

If the Delta deal is successful, it would be the first foreign airline to get access to slots for domestic flights at the downtown airport. The coveted slots are currently limited to Japanese carriers, including ANA and Japan Airlines as well as Skymark

Skymark filed for bankruptcy protection in late January in the face of potentially massive penalties linked to a cancelled $2.2 billion jet order with Airbus.

The still-operating airline's efforts to turn itself around failed as it struggled against tough competition in the sector, while its troubles deepened after the deal with Airbus collapsed last summer.


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