Japan’s Skymark files for bankruptcy protection

Struggling Japanese carrier Skymark, unable to establish profitability in the increasingly competitive Japanese market, has filed for bankruptcy protection.


Japan’s Skymark files for bankruptcy protection


Struggling Japanese carrier Skymark, unable to establish profitability in the increasingly competitive Japanese market, has filed for bankruptcy protection. The airline will be de-listed from the exchange 1 March and will continue operating during the reorganisation process. It will get support from private equity firm Integral.

Tokyo, Haneda-based Skymark Airlines is also reportedly abandoning a proposed three-way codeshare tie-up with Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) in favour of finding an alternative strategic partner, according to bankruptcy documents filed with the Tokyo District Court.

Japanese media reports have suggested Skymark is looking for a single airline partner with which it would “cooperate comprehensively” on “joint fuel purchases, joint crew training, and code-sharing.” No specific carrier was mentioned but at least two carriers – AirAsia and Delta Air Lines – have previously carried out their own duediligence assessments of Skymark last year, ultimately abandoning any plans after then-president Shinichi Nishikubo said Skymark would demand managerial independence.

Skymark’s 36 Tokyo, Haneda slots are an attractive proposition for potential investors, but those slots are contingent on the carrier remaining 80 per cent in Japanese ownership, even though the cap on foreign ownership is set at 33 per cent.