Sunday, March 8, 2015

Skymark downsizes Ibaraki from September.

On March 4th, Skymark Airlines [BC/SKY] announced they would downsize their Ibaraki [IBR/RJAH] focus city, along with the closure of Yonago [YGJ/RJOH] (Skymark decides to close Yonago, keep Ibaraki.), effective September 1st. Frequency to both Fukuoka [FUK/RJFF] and Sapporo/New Chitose [CTS/RJCC] would be reduced to just one daily each, while the through-fare to Okinawa/Naha [OKA/ROAH] via Kobe [UKB/RJBE] would be scrapped.

Boeing 737-8FZ(WL) JA737U lands at Haneda in the late afternoon. Its fleet of 27 Boeing narrow-body jets will be reduced by one aircraft this year. (Photo: Ryosuke Yano)

The bankrupt carrier (Skymark to file for bankruptcy.) will also stop offering a through-fare from Tokyo/Haneda [HND/RJTT] to Nagasaki [NGS/RJFU] via Kobe, necessitating passengers to buy tickets for each leg separately. On the other hand, Nagoya/Chubu Centrair [NGO/RJGG] – New Chitose and Kobe – Naha would see a round-trip added, increasing frequency to three daily, respectively.

Flight Increases/Reductions effective September 1st:
Ibaraki – Fukuoka from 2 to 1 daily.
Ibaraki – New Chitose from 2 to 1 daily.
Kobe – Naha from 2 to 3 daily.
Chubu Centrair – New Chitose from 2 to 3 daily.
Yonago – Kobe to be suspended.
Yonago – Naha to be suspended.

The embattled airline is currently running on financial aid provided by investment fund Integral Corporation, and they together are in the process of choosing an airline sponsor as well as two or three non-airline partners. AirAsia [AK/AXM] and ANA Holdings, parent of All Nippon Airways [NH/ANA], are the only two airline firms that have submitted comprehensive proposals (ANA and AirAsia bid to save Skymark.).

However, Representative Chairman Takashi Ide said "Our balance sheet looks much better after we standardized on Boeing 737s (Skymark Airbus A330 operates last revenue flight.)," adding "Which airline sponsor we select will depend on how much new value the partnership could bring, and not just increased revenue or cost cuts. We are talking with both parties for details." Mr. Ide also hinted it may opt to team up with only financial firms. The figure of Skymark's total liabilities would be calculated after March 18th, which is the deadline for creditors, including aircraft lessors as well as Airbus (Skymark's Airbus A380 order in jeopardy.), to report how much the airline owes them. Skymark would probably only make a decision after that.

Source: Asahi Shimbun, March 3rd. (in Japanese)
Source: Skymark Airlines, March 4th. (in Japanese)
Source: Nikkei Shimbun, March 4th. (in Japanese)
Source: Aviation Wire, March 4th. (in Japanese)

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