Sunday, March 22, 2015

Skymark's total debts skyrocket to 300 billion JPY.

Skymark Airlines' [BC/SKY] total liabilities grew to nearly 300 billion JPY, after all creditors filed claims by the March 18th deadline specified by the Tokyo District Court, where Japan's third largest carrier sought for bankruptcy protection (Skymark to file for bankruptcy.) in January. Airbus is demanding 700 million USD (84 billion JPY) in compensation for the canceled Airbus A380 order (Skymark hopes to settle Airbus A380 penalty in October.), while aircraft lessor Intrepid Aviation is seeking 900 million USD (108 billion JPY) for scrapping seven A330 lease contracts (Skymark terminates all Airbus A330 leases.).

Two of Skymark's Airbus A330-300Es are seen grounded at Tokyo International Airport at Haneda. All five could be heading out to the desert for long-term storage, now that the leases have been terminated. (Photo: Ryosuke Yano)

Other major creditors include ANA Trading, Boeing, Central Japan International Airport (operator of Nagoya/Chubu Centrair [NGO/RJGG]), Japan Airlines [JL/JAL], Japan Airport Terminal (operator of Terminals 1 & 2 at Tokyo/Haneda [HND/RJTT]), and Shinichi Nishikubo (Skymark's former CEO). The embattled carrier had earlier estimated its liabilities at 71 billion JPY, excluding claims from Airbus and leasing firms. A 300 billion JPY debt would push Skymark into insolvency, as their total assets stood at 74 billion JPY as of December 2014. The airline is expected to perform a 100% capital reduction. 

By April 15th, Skymark will issue a statement of approval or disapproval for the submitted claims, and the cash-strapped airline and creditors have between April 22nd and May 8th to negotiate final figures. A corporation rehabilitation plan must be handed in to the Tokyo District Court by May 29th, and it would need majority go-ahead at a creditor's meeting that would be held in late June for the plan to be implemented by the end of July. Skymark is likely to decide whether to accept an airline sponsorship, either from AirAsia [AK/AXM] or All Nippon Airways' [NH/ANA] parent ANA Holdings (ANA and AirAsia bid to save Skymark.), or go without it and only endorse financial assistance from Integral Corporation plus other investment firms.

Sponsorship proposals from neither AirAsia nor ANA Holdings have been made public. However, the Malaysia-based pan-Asian LCC group is reportedly calling for a re-branding of Skymark under AirAsia, launching a new joint-venture (JV) long-haul subsidiary (a hint at AirAsia X Japan?), and a potential future merger with AirAsia Japan (Mk II), which is currently preparing to launch operations from Chubu Centrair by the end of this year (New AirAsia Japan's first Airbus A320 due in July.). It would also mediate talks with Airbus to reduce Skymark's debt. Meanwhile, ANA Holdings' plan reportedly calls for reducing Skymark's fleet to around 20 aircraft, implementing extensive code-sharing, joint ticket sales, joint fuel purchases, joint crew training, and aligning its network to complement that of ANA's, virtually transforming Skymark into a feeder carrier for Japan's largest carrier.

Source: Nikkei Shimbun, March 20th. (in Japanese)

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