Delta Air Lines is likely to invest in Japan’s bankrupt Skymark Airlines, throwing the Japanese carrier a lifeline that would incidentally give Delta unprecedented access to domestic landing slots at Tokyo’s Haneda airport, reports from Japan say.
Delta has agreed to join a rescue plan being led by Skymark creditor Intrepid Aviation, the Nikkei business daily stated. The plan would entail Delta buying up to 20% of the Japanese airline for an unspecified price.
If Delta succeeds, it would become the first foreign carrier to again access to slots for domestic flights at Haneda, which serves downtown Tokyo. So far, only Japanese carriers have slots.
In August, Qantas will move its Sydney-Tokyo flights to Haneda – which is nearer to downtown Tokyo than the more distant Narita International Airport.
Skymark is Japan’s third-biggest airline, after ANA and JAL. Analysts say Delta (which currently has no partner in Japan) may try to use Haneda as a transit hub for passengers coming off its flights from Los Angeles.
Skymark, which officially says it is unaware of any Delta offer, might find a Deltqa offer more palatable than the restructure plan it submitted earlier this year, which reportedly would see Skymark taken over by creditor banks, All Nippon Airways and a domestic investment fund.
Written by Peter Needham