Friday, February 6, 2015

Integral: Keeping Skymark the third force not priority.

On February 5th, Skymark Airlines [BC/SKY] announced that they had reached an agreement with Integral Corporation to restructure Japan's bankrupt third largest carrier (Skymark to file for bankruptcy.). The investment fund will finance 9 billion JPY under a debt-equity swap scheme, where Integral would become a shareholder once Skymark, which will be de-listed on March 1st, makes it to a listed airline again. 3 billion JPY will be used immediately to pay for overdue landing fees at Tokyo/Haneda [HND/RJTT].

Boeing 737-8HX(WL) JA73NH taxies at Fukuoka. The aircraft was returned to lessor Aviation Capital Group as N381AG in January. Skymark's fleet was standardized on 27 737s effective February 1st. (Photo: Ryosuke Yano)

"It's not a short-term investment; we're fully committed," said Integral's Director Nobuo Sayama, who revealed that four staff have already been dispatched to Skymark to help come up with a company rehabilitation plan that needs to be submitted to the Tokyo District Court by May 29th. Regarding sponsors (Skymark seeks investor airline; scraps ANA & JAL dual tie-up.), Mr. Sayama said "We're looking from a broad range."

Asked whether Skymark was still committed to retaining its position as Japan's third force, with no financial affiliation with All Nippon Airways [NH/ANA] nor Japan Airlines [JL/JAL], Mr. Sayama replied "That is not necessarily our priority," adding that restructuring the airline and putting it on a road to profitability within a year is. This virtually confirms that likelihood of an ANA investment is getting higher (Running out of time: Will Skymark join ANA?), as JAL remains prohibited from making any major investments until April 2017.

Code-sharing with other domestic carriers such as ANA and JAL (Skymark takes ANA & JAL dual tie-up, axes Sendai – Sapporo.) "has merits, and we are evaluating it in a positive way," Mr. Sayama added. Skymark quickly grounded their entire Airbus A330 fleet (Skymark Airbus A330 operates last revenue flight.) on January 31st, and President and Representative Director Masakazu Arimori revealed that load factor for the Haneda – Fukuoka [FUK/RJFF] route is back to exceeding 90% for February so far. Frequencies were also cut on a number of secondary routes (Skymark to cut 15% of flights, ground all Airbus A330s.).

Meanwhile, former President and CEO Shinichi Nishikubo's control of Skymark's shares has decreased to 9.78%, according to an ownership change report submitted by the airline to Japan's Ministry of Finance. The charismatic ex-leader had been the biggest shareholder holding 30.57%, however, 18.98 million stocks are believed to have been sold off between February 2nd and 4th for approximately 400 million JPY total.

Source: Skymark Airlines, February 5th. (in Japanese)
Source: Aviation Wire, February 6th. (in Japanese)
Source: Nikkei Shimbun, February 6th. (in Japanese)

*Edited/updated on February 7th.

No comments:

Post a Comment