• Kyodo

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All Nippon Airways Co. plans to send one or two directors from the ANA group to the board of embattled Skymark Airlines Inc. to help it rebuild, ANA President Osamu Shinobe said Sunday.

In an interview with Kyodo News in Miami, Shinobe, 62, also expressed confidence in the turnaround plan recently announced by Skymark, even though the largest creditor, U.S. aircraft leasing company Intrepid Aviation Ltd., is opposed to ANA becoming one of the rehabilitation sponsors and has offered its own revival plan.

“We believe that the draft plan by ANA Holdings and others featuring the single-model aircraft and code shares with us is most solid. It will fully contribute to reconstruction and we are confident of it,” he said.

The turnaround plan by Skymark agreed to by ANA Holdings Inc. and two other sponsors allows for ANA Holdings, the parent of ANA, to fill two of the six director slots on Skymark’s board. At least one of them is expected to be an airline professional from the ANA group.

The plan is subject to a vote by creditors at a meeting expected to be held in July.

Shinobe said joint flight operations, known as code shares, “will help increase seat occupancy of aircraft” on routes out of Haneda he said. “It will be an efficient use of limited flight slots at Haneda.”

Assigning flight codes to each other’s services to sell seats is the centerpiece of Skymark’s turnaround plan, which can rely on the marketing strength of much bigger rival ANA.

ANA, meanwhile, would gain access to Skymark’s flight assets, including those using the coveted Haneda slots.

Shinobe, however, said code-sharing routes “will be considered based on requests from Skymark.” Joint operations out of Kobe, another Skymark hub, “may also be considered if a request” is made from the carrier, he said.

Shinobe is in Miami to attend an annual meeting of world airlines. The comments followed news Friday that Intrepid has approached U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines Inc. about joining the Skymark rehabilitation plan.

Intrepid said in a statement later Friday that it has held discussions with a number of candidates on helping Skymark recover. Intrepid is believed to have also approached other airlines.

Intrepid said it has talking with airlines with operations in Japan but did not name any. Its public relations agency also declined to elaborate.