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Skymark eyes ways to finance A380 purchases

Bloomberg

Skymark Airlines Inc., the only Japanese carrier to order Airbus SAS A380s, is considering several options to raise funds as the budget airline lacks cash to pay for the superjumbos.

Sale-and-lease back of the aircraft and using finance from the European Credit Agency are among the options, Chief Financial Officer Masakazu Arimori said in Tokyo Friday. Skymark aims to decide on financing by early next year and take delivery of its first Airbus plane in August or September, he said. The carrier will start flights to New York as early as December next year.

Keeping the A380 orders by Skymark is critical for Airbus as the plane-maker wants to make inroads in Japan, a market its rival, Boeing Co., has dominated as near monopoly for decades. Toulouse, France-based Airbus hasn’t won a single firm order for the superjumbo this year, while lessor Doric Lease Corp. said Sunday that it will target Asian carriers for the double-decker plane because of a surge in travel.

“We don’t want to put too much pressure on our cash flow,” Arimori said. “Almost all our profits are going to pay for the A380s.”

Skymark will need to invest ¥40 billion for the A380s next fiscal year, Arimori said. The Tokyo-based airline had ¥18 billion in cash at the end of September, according to a company statement Sunday. Skymark has already paid ¥12 billion for its first two of the six A380s it has ordered, Arimori said.