Japan's Skymark submits bankruptcy plan despite creditor opposition

Fri May 29, 2015 6:08am EDT
 
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By Maki Shiraki

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's failed budget carrier Skymark Airlines Inc SKALF.PK submitted a restructuring plan for court approval on Friday despite opposition from the two main creditors owed about two-thirds of its roughly 300 billion yen ($2.4 billion) debt.

Skymark plans to enter discussions with creditors to seek to convince them to accept the restructuring plan, a lawyer for the airline told reporters at a news conference in the capital on Friday. The plan, submitted to Tokyo District Court, calls for major creditors to forgive 95 percent of Skymark's debt.

The two biggest creditors, European jet maker Airbus Group (AIR.PA: Quote) and aircraft leasing company Intrepid Aviation Ltd INTR.N, have both threatened to block Japan's biggest airline, ANA Holdings (9202.T: Quote), from buying a 16.5 percent stake in Skymark, a feature of the restructuring plan.

"We will make utmost efforts through discussions" with Airbus and other creditors to secure acceptance for the revival plan, said Skymark lawyer Takeo Nakahara.

Airbus is opposing ANA's participation in a bid to persuade ANA to buy a number of Airbus jets, people familiar with the matter told Reuters this week.

Skymark ran into financial trouble after embarking on an ambitious expansion programme that included plans to fly A380 superjumbos on overseas routes. Unable to keep up with payments for the jets, Skymark opted for bankruptcy in January after Airbus scrapped the sale and demanded a $710 million cancellation fee.

ANA senior executive Toyoyuki Nagamine said on Friday the airline would not buy aircraft as a means to support Skymark. Appearing at the Skymark news conference, he said ANA believes it will maintain long-established friendly relations with Airbus.

An official at Airbus' office in Tokyo said no one was available to comment.   Continued...

 
A Skymark Airlines Inc's airplane is parked at Haneda airport in Tokyo August 4, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino