Skymark files for bankruptcy, Okinawa routes to be reduced

Skymark Airlines Inc, the third largest airline company in Japan, has given up efforts to rebuild its business on its own, and applied to Tokyo District Court for bankruptcy rehabilitation on the evening of Jan. 28th. The company is saddled with a total of about ¥71 billion in debt.

According to company officials, Skymark will try to look for sponsor companies, and manage its reconstruction under the court supervision.  This is the first time for one of the largest Japanese airline companies to go bankrupt since October 2010 bankruptcy of JAL..

Its total liabilities would soar to more than ¥100 billion if penalty charges that the European aircraft maker Airbus has asked it to pay after Skymark cancelled its order of six Airbus A380 superjumbos.  According to analysts the other main reason for the company’s failure has been the steep slide of the Japanese yean against the U.S. dollar that has pushed up its dollar-denominated costs by half.

The bankruptcy of the carrier also affects its routes to Okinawa. According to Masakazu Arimori, the president and representative director of Skymark Airlines, the company will withdraw from routes to Ishigaki and Miyako from Mar. 29th, and also decrease the number of other flights to Okinawa between Feb. 1st and Mar. 28th. For example, it will ax the route between Chubu Airport in Nagoya and Naha.