Japan's Skymark to seek revival plan approval despite creditor opposition: sources

Thu May 28, 2015 11:18pm EDT
 
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TOKYO (Reuters) - Failed Japanese budget carrier Skymark Airlines Inc SKALF.PK will seek court approval on Friday for a revival plan despite opposition from creditors Airbus Group (AIR.PA: Quote) and Intrepid Aviation Ltd (INTR.N: Quote), two people familiar with the matter said.

European jet maker Airbus and aircraft leasing company Intrepid have both threatened to block Japan's biggest airline, ANA Holdings (9202.T: Quote), from buying a 16.5 percent stake in Skymark in a bid to persuade ANA to purchase or lease Airbus jets, people familiar with the situation previously told Reuters.

"Delaying the restructuring of Skymark would me a minus for the big creditors too," one person with knowledge of the plan to seek court approval said. The people who disclosed details of Skymark's intentions spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter wasn't public knowledge.

A spokeswoman for Skymark declined to comment.

Skymark has until July, when creditors are slated to meet to discuss revival plans, to persuade Airbus and Intrepid to drop their opposition to ANA's participation. With the jet maker and the aircraft lessor holding around two-thirds of Skymark's debt of around 300 billion yen ($2.43 billion), any plan to revive the discount airline will need to be approved by Airbus and Intrepid.

By gaining a stake in Skymark ANA's would win access to valuable landing rights at Tokyo's crowded Haneda airport. ANA already controls more than half of the landing slots at the capital's downtown airport, and adding more would bolster its lead over local rival Japan Airlines Co (9201.T: Quote).

Intrepid, Airbus and ANA all declined to comment on the spat.

Other planned Skymark sponsors include Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (8316.T: Quote) and the Development Bank of Japan, which are set to take a combined 33.4 percent stake.

(Reporting by Maki Shiraki; Writing by Tim Kelly; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

 
Skymark Airlines aircrafts are pictured at Haneda airport in Tokyo November 19, 2014.    REUTERS/Toru Hanai