Delta looks to invest in Japanese airline Skymark

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is taking another stab at expanding its presence in Japan, offering to invest in Japanese carrier Skymark Airlines.

It’s part of a proposal to rehabilitate discount carrier Skymark, which filed for bankrutpcy protection in January 2015. Delta is offering to help rehabilitate Skymark under a plan proposed by aircraft leasing firm Intrepid Aviation, Skymark’s largest creditor.

The move is “part of Delta’s continued investment in our success in Japan, a cornerstone of our Asia-Pacific network,” Delta said in a written statement. “With Delta’s support, which also will include bringing key airline expertise to the table, Skymark can be preserved as Japan’s third-largest independent carrier.”

Skymark along with private equity firm Integral Corp. and major Japanese carrier ANA proposed their own plan for rehabilitation of Skymark. Creditors will vote Aug. 5 on the competing plans.

Delta, the largest U.S. carrier in Japan, in 2010 lost a bid to partner with Japan Airlines to broaden its reach in Japan. Skymark’s presence at Tokyo’s restricted Haneda Airport could gain Delta a broader network of flights within Japan, along with additional Japanese customers.

Delta already owns stakes in Virgin Atlantic and Aeromexico and last week announced plans to increase its investment in Brazilian carrier GOL.