Beleaguered Japanese carrier, Skymark Airlines’ plans to partner Japan Airlines (JAL) have been met with a cool response from Japan’s regulatory body. On the announcement of early partnership talks between the two carriers last week, Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLITT) reportedly said any such tie-up would “not be good” as it could threaten competition in the local market. JAL has dismissed the claims as unfounded.
Although talks are still in the preliminary stages, Japanese media reports have suggested JAL could begin codesharing with Skymark on the latter’s Tokyo Haneda routes in addition to cooperating on sales and cargo services. Higher passenger loads would allow Skymark to generate an additional JPY8 billion (US$67.1million) in revenue. According to the Nikkei Business news wire, Skymark held exploratory talks with a number of airlines including Malaysian low cost carrier AirAsia before settling on JAL, the only one to not ask for a capital partnership. Skymark faces an uncertain future after Airbus threatened to impose up to JPY70 billion (US$682 million) in penalties following the Japanese low cost carrier’s cancellation of an order for six A380-800s in July.