With the government reluctant to push any tie-up, the outlook for the partnership that struggling Skymark Airlines Inc. is aggressively seeking to form with Japan Airlines Co. remains cloudy.

It is crucial for Skymark to form a tie-up. Its revamp efforts could stall without such help from a partner when it is scrambling to rebuild its money-losing operations.

The president of Skymark said recently that he will pursue a code-sharing deal with JAL, offering space on some of its domestic flights from Tokyo's Haneda airport to JAL customers to reduce the number of unfilled seats.