Japan’s Skymark Airlines declared bankruptcy in January. This was not a surprise as many thought the company’s ambitions were unrealistic. When it folded, the airline had large debts to both Intrepid Aviation and Airbus. Skymark filed for bankruptcy protection because of potentially large penalties linked to its cancelled $2.2bn order with Airbus. Skymark owed Intrepid for seven A330s (of ten ordered; three from CIT) and Airbus for six A380s ordered, of which two were built. Rolls-Royce powered all these Airbus aircraft and is among the big creditors, but has played a much quieter role in the bankruptcy.
Intrepid Aviation announced its selection of Delta Air Lines, as the sponsor airline candidate for Skymark under its Creditors’ Rehabilitation Plan. Intrepid believes its plan offers the best opportunity to preserve Skymark as Japan’s third-largest independent carrier and is in the best interests of the carrier’s employees, suppliers and creditors. When Skymark folded, and ANA stepped forward with a plan to save the company, but the Japanese government saw a potential return to an airline duopoly which, we understand, it wants to avoid.