Under a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the “joint sponsorship of Skymark Inc”, ANA will take a 19.9% stake in Skymark, while Integral Corporation, a Japanese private investment company, will hold 50.1%. The partners are planning to invest JPY18 billion (US$151 million) in Skymark’s turnaround plan, which will include the payment of debts.
In January this year, Skymark became the second major Japanese airline in the last five years to file for bankruptcy protection, following JAL in January 2010.
Previously Japan’s third biggest airline, Skymark had placed orders for six Airbus A380s with a view to launching premium long-haul routes to Europe and North America. But these orders were cancelled in July 2014 after it became clear the Skymark would not be able to fulfil its contractual obligations. It also had to return its fleet of leased A330s.
Under the new agreement, “Skymark, Integral and ANA will… hold detailed negotiations on the basis of the memorandum and will execute sponsorship agreements and formulate a proposed rehabilitation plan”. ANA said Skymark’s employees would be retained “as a general principle”.
“ANA has experience with the rehabilitation of other Japanese airlines and has offered a wide range of support in sales, supplies and maintenance services to improve the value of Skymark’s business,” the company added.