World Economy

Rival Plan Puts ANA as Sponsor

Rival Plan Puts ANA as SponsorRival Plan Puts ANA as Sponsor

Delta Air Lines has been proposed as a sponsor to rehabilitate Skymark Airlines Inc by the bankrupt Japanese carrier’s biggest creditor–a plan that challenges a separate proposal that has put forward ANA Holdings as a sponsor.

If the move is approved by a majority of creditors, it could help Delta use Tokyo’s Haneda airport as a transit hub for passengers coming off its flights from Los Angeles. Currently, Delta’s connecting opportunities are limited because it has no alliance partner in Japan, Reuters reported.

Skymark’s creditors are slated to vote on the rival plans by an Aug. 5 meeting of debt holders. Both plans would likely result in the winning sponsor taking a stake of under 20% in the discount airline.

Airline leasing firm Intrepid Aviation, Skymark’s biggest creditor, said it had conducted a thorough process to identify the strongest sponsor candidate.

As an incentive for other creditors to adopt its plan with Delta as the sponsor, Intrepid in its rehabilitation plan said it would withdraw a demand that Skymark pay it ¥30 billion ($242.91 million).

“We feel confident that this plan provides a better solution to the creditors, so we are quite hopeful that the plan will be accepted,” Franklin Pray, Intrepid president and CEO, said at a press briefing in Tokyo.

The rival plan promoting ANA, Japan’s biggest carrier, as sponsor is backed by Skymark and domestic private equity firm Integral Corp.

For ANA, gaining a foothold in Skymark would give it access to additional landing rights at Haneda, where along with its affiliates, it already holds more than half the 486 slots, most of them for domestic routes, helping cement its dominance of air travel in Japan.