Saturday, May 17, 2014

Skymark delays Airbus A330 launch again; now June 14th.

Skymark Airlines (BC/SKY) has decided to delay inauguration of their brand-new Airbus A330s for the fourth time, now to June 14th. Japan's third largest carrier cited preparations for "safe operations" taking longer than expected. With crew training flights which were planned for mid-April having only started on April 25th (Skymark starts Airbus A330 training flights.), a fourth delay had been looking highly possible.
Skymark's A330s will boast new Green Seats as well as mini-skirt flight attendants. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

Skymark's 271-seat all-premium A330s (Skymark's first two Airbus A330s delivered.) were originally planned to be introduced on March 25th, but delays in certification of the type in Japan as well as maintenance preparation issues had prompted the airline to put off that date to April 18th. It was then put off to May 31st (Skymark delays Airbus A330 introduction to May 31st.) citing additional time needed for staff familiaraization, and now the inaugural flight is expected to take place on June 14th with BC003, service from Tokyo/Haneda (HND/RJTT) to Fukuoka (FUK/RJFF).

To-be-A330-operated flights before June 14th will be swapped with Boeing 737-800s, however, full refunds or change of flights will be offered to customers who booked these flights to experience the new Airbus widebody, at no additional cost. Customers need to contact their call center or visit one of their airport counters.

Meanwhile, Skymark reported a net loss of 1.8 billion JPY for fiscal year 2013, its first full-year loss since FY2008. A roughly 3.8 billion JPY net profit was recorded for FY2012. They cited increased competition with LCCs, fuel costs remaining high, and the devaluation of the yen (JPY), as well as costs related to bringing in the A330 and the soon-to-be-delivered A380. Skymark's fleet currently consists of two A330s and 31 737-800s, with six A380s and eight more A330s on order.

Source: Skymark Airlines, May 16th. (PDF; in Japanese)

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