Last updated: 01:19 PM ET, Thu July 16 2015

Delta Looks To Invest In Bankrupt Japanese Carrier

Airlines & Airports | Delta Air Lines | Rich Thomaselli | July 16, 2015

Delta Looks To Invest In Bankrupt Japanese Carrier

With the Asian market a burgeoning frontier for international airlines, this makes all the sense in the world.

Delta Air Lines is seeking to invest in Japan’s bankrupt Skymark Airlines and will reportedly join a bid to bail out the beleaguered Asian carrier. Intrepid Aviation, a U.S.-based firm, proposed the plan to rescue Skymark, telling Business Insider, "Intrepid believes this 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," the company said in a statement.

Not so coincidentally, Intrepid Aviation is Skymark’s biggest creditor in the U.S., and Intrepid has scoffed at a previous plan proposed by Skymark that would give control of the airline to ANA Holdings’ All Nippon Airways.

Delta would purchase as much as 20 percent of Skymark in the proposed deal but, more importantly, would gain a stronger foothold in Japan with a true partner.

Currently, Japan’s two biggest airlines, All Nippon and Japan Airlines, are partners with United and American, respectively. By owning a share of Skymark, Delta would then have rights to domestic landing gates as Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, becoming the first foreign airline to earn that distinction. Currently, only Japan-based carriers are allowed to make flights between Japanese cities.

Skymark's creditors are expected to vote on the proposals later this summer.

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